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Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS secures European patent protection

Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS in partnership with FCT and the University of Porto were involved in the development of the retinal imaging solution, which had its patent submitted in 2020.

Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS secures European patent protection
ECO · 08 Sep 2023

Developed by researchers at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS (FhP-AICOS), a prominent research center headquartered in Porto with offices in Lisbon, this pioneering technology has just been awarded a European patent. The patented solution includes a portable optical device, seamlessly integrated with a smartphone, alongside a sophisticated methodology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) components.

According to ECO, this technology was designed to assist non-specialists in acquiring good-quality retinal images. FhP-AICOS explains "the system works with infrared light that guides the user through simple instructions, such as moving the camera closer or further away or slightly rotating the equipment. This is to ensure that the retina is correctly aligned”.

The patent that has now been approved was submitted in 2020 and involved several departments from FhP-AICOS. The research center, established in 2009 through a collaboration between the Fraunhofer Society (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), and the University of Porto, also enlisted the expertise of the Intelligent Systems group for the AI component and the user-centered design team for equipment development.

"This patent protects the idea of incorporating multiple sensors, in addition to the image sensor, in the process of aligning and capturing retinograms. The patented technology makes it possible to guide the retinograph operator to the position of the pupil in real time" summarizes researcher João Gonçalves. For Filipe Soares, another researcher in the spotlight, the patent could "positively influence the capture of more and better retinograms, which in turn will have an impact on the early diagnosis of ophthalmic diseases".

With a diverse portfolio of clients in business areas such as health, agriculture, retail, and energy, FhP-AICOS has consolidated skills in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems, and user-centered design. Currently, the center is focusing on innovation in areas such as connected cognitive solutions, digital agriculture, responsible artificial intelligence, and decentralized health technology.