Hubble Telemedical is a venture capital-funded company that provides remote retinal eye exams to eradicate vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness among U.S. adults, affecting most diabetics at some point in their life.
Nearly all vision loss from retinopathy can be avoided with early diagnosis, yet less than half of diabetics receive the mandatory annual eye exam because doing so has required a separate office visit to an ophthalmologist. Hubble changes that paradigm by enabling these exams in convenient primary care and retail health settings using its award-winning telemedicine platform.
Chuck Witkowski, the CEO of Hubble, said the genesis for Hubble came from a chance meeting between its founders, Dr. Edward Chaum, a retina surgeon at the Hamilton Eye Institute, and Dr. Kenneth Tobin, a division director at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“While visiting ORNL, Dr. Chaum heard a presentation in which Dr. Tobin described a process called content-based image retrieval for rapid quality assessment of computer chips during manufacturing,” Witkowski said. “Dr. Chaum recognized the power of the technique for remote retinal image analysis and Hubble was born.”
Hubble got involved with Tech 2020 because of a prior company Witkowski led.
“Prior to joining Hubble as CEO, I founded and grew a company called Protein Discovery, Inc.,” he said. “Protein Discovery developed an advanced bioanalytical sample preparation system for life sciences and pharmaceutical research. I initially bootstrapped the company with small business R&D grants before raising three rounds of venture capital funding totaling over $16 million. Tech 2020 was instrumental in helping me launch Protein Discovery.”
Witkowski explained that in the early days of Discovery, Inc., the team at Tech 2020 helped him solidify the vision, hone the customer value proposition, develop his R&D strategy, and network with potential partners.
“After Protein Discovery was sold and I joined Hubble, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Tech 2020 once again,” he said.
Witkowski said Tech 2020 has proven invaluable in assisting both of the companies he’s led.
“As a start-up entrepreneur, often what is most valuable is simply having a group of peers and mentors who are willing to help you think through your business,” he said. “For me, that was the biggest assistance Tech 2020 provided when I was starting Protein Discovery. Tech 2020 was really an extension of my start-up team in the early days.”
You can learn more about Hubble Telemedical and its innovative idea at http://www.hubbletelemedical.com.