On May 8, 2017, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) celebrated twenty years as an organization dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. With this mission in mind, CHCF started the Innovations for the Underserved and Chronic Disease programs. As part of these programs they provided substantial guidance and support to transform EyePACS into a service that has grown well beyond California.
In 2005, CHCF funded EyePACS through a grant to UC Berkeley to improve the EyePACS software and develop a network of telemedicine-based diabetic retinopathy screening programs in the California Central Valley. Later that network was expanded to the entire state.
Four years later CHCF commissioned a thorough cost-benefit analysis of diabetic retinopathy screening; this analysis was used to pass California Assembly Bill 175, the first telemedicine bill of its kind in the United States.
Always at the forefront of changes in health care, in 2015 CHCF launched the Diabetic Retinopathy Detection Challenge with EyePACS data and Kaggle, a data science network that conducted the competition to develop artificial intelligence for automatic reading of retinal images.
We thank CHCF for their amazing work, and we remain closely aligned with their efforts to provide innovations for the health and social benefit of all people with a focus on sustainability rather than on profit.
Dr. Abraham Verghese, keynote speaker for the anniversary celebration, is pictured below. He is a best-selling author who writes about the doctor-patient connection.
Below, EyePACS Director Dr. Jorge Cuadros poses with four of the fellows from the CHCF Leadership Fellowship, a network of doctors that lead healthcare organizations in California.