A FIFE-BASED eyecare technology company has announced that it has secured £1.5 million in new funding to prepare for a push into the United States ophthalmic imaging market.

Epipole, a video retinal imaging specialist, also unveiled the appointment of industry veteran Ian Stevens as its chairman as it prepares for the next phase of growth.

The financing was led by new investor Greenwood Way Capital with the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also participating.

Epipole’s patented technology enables clinicians to scan the retina using real-time video and then extract high quality images for further examination.

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Retinal cameras are typically large and costly desktop systems, but Epipole believes it can revolutionise the sector with its portable design and cost-effective pricing.

Craig Robertson, founder and chief executive of the Inverkeithing-based firm, said: “We’ve worked with ophthalmologists to test and refine features and capabilities, and will use this funding to implement the key changes needed.

“We will have a particular focus on the US primary care optometry and ophthalmology markets, and plan to have product available by early 2021.”

He also said that Mr Stevens’ “broad commercial experience and specific expertise in retinal imaging will be valuable to us as we introduce our products to the eyecare market”.

Mr Stevens has held chief executive positions at Scottish businesses Touch Bionics, Mpathy Medical and BioFilm. He spent nine years at leading retinal imaging company Optos, initially as chief financial officer and then as general manager of its North American business.

Mr Stevens said he is delighted to join, adding: “There is a tremendous opportunity for handheld and truly portable fundus cameras that are easy to use and combine high quality imaging with attractive pricing.”