Kitware Receives Award to Develop Retinal Image Management System (RIMS)

October 9, 2014

Team to tackle shortcomings of today’s retinal imaging tools.

Kitware is pleased to announce a $150,000 Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award for the development of a Retinal Image Management System (RIMS).

Retinal damage is a debilitating condition, which, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Retinal damage is widespread and has many causes, ranging from accidental exposure to environmental dangers to complications of disease such as diabetes (diabetic retinopathy).

While current retinal imaging tools that utilize a single retinal image to detect damage provide basic functionality for the investigation of ocular pathophysiology, more detailed information can be derived from using multiple imaging modalities. Furthermore, the tools typically used in today’s research and clinical practice do not allow for comparative, simultaneous visualization and analysis of the damaged area. This places the burden on the researcher or clinician to mentally merge information from disparate sources. RIMS is designed to ease this burden by providing a single image presentation that fuses all available imaging data, and by linking to other metadata such as visual acuity test results.

RIMS will not only provide significant improvement in the study of physiological functional changes of the retina resulting from light induced damage, but it will also provide the next generation retinal pathology system for general ophthalmic medical practice. Furthermore, RIMS will simplify patient education and boost patient awareness by relating patient history and providing easy-to-understand visualizations.

For the project, titled “Multimodal-Multidimensional image fusion for morphological and functional evaluation of the retina,” Kitware will collaborate with DualAlign LLC, a recognized expert in ocular registration. Dr. Wesley Turner, a Technical Leader at Kitware, will serve as the Principal Investigator, and Dr. Chuck Stewart will lead the effort at DualAlign.

“The New York Capital Region is a remarkably fertile area for technology companies and we are excited by this opportunity to work with another Capital Region company in the pursuit of important breakthroughs in understanding retinal damage,” Dr. Turner said. “This project promises to provide the tools ophthalmology researchers need for characterizing, measuring, and understanding tissue changes in response to laser light exposure and could be instrumental in preventing and limiting vision loss and blindness.”

The goal of the Phase I effort is to design a system for the registration and analysis of multi-modality retinal images, and to create a Software Development Plan (SDP), which identifies I/O formats associated with 2D and 3D imaging modalities and complementary visual function tests; delineates desirable preprocessing capabilities for noise reduction in native images; details technical approaches for image registration and data fusion; defines the graphical user interface for data management; and outlines verification procedures.

To learn how Kitware can develop custom medical imaging applications for your data, please visit

This material is based upon work supported by the United States Air Force under Contract No. FA8650-14-M-6558.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Air Force.

A montage of retinal thickness over a wide field obtained from the Zeiss Cirrus OCT and i2k Retina. Contributed by Joe Carroll, Wisconsin College of Medicine.

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