Ehsan of Toku Eyes

Toku Eyes Answers: What if an Eye Scan Could Diagnose Heart Disease?

In Health, Health Tech, Publisher Channel by Mary Kurek

Ehsan Vaghefi is the Founder and CEO of Toku Eyes, headquartered in New Zealand. And, the answer to the title of this video is “it can.” Ehsan and the Toku team have innovated an easy, affordable, accessible means of scanning the back of the eye to secure valuable diagnostic health information that could change the course of a patient’s life dramatically. The current applications involve eye health, diabetes, cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even chronic kidney disease. In this special “Innovator Interview,” podcast host/producer, Mary Kurek invited health tech serial investor/entrepreneur and healthcare provider, Atif Zafar as co-host. The conversation was more like an investor review, rich with Q & A that drilled down and unpacked this remarkable innovation and its applications now and in the future.

Please meet Ehsan Vaghefi with Atif Zafar (Video)

Ehsan Vagheri’s Bio:

Ehsan’s academic and entrepreneurial career has been focused on preventing blindness through accessible and novel technologies. This is because Ehsan’s father lost his eyesight as a child, due to a preventable but undiagnosed disease. Ehsan has been a guide all his life. After all, when other children his age were being helped across the street by their parents, he was helping his blind father across the roads.
Ehsan is now an associate professor of Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence in Optometry and Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland. As an academic, Ehsan has published more than 45 peer-reviewed journal articles and 3 patents and has been awarded more than $10M in research grants. In 2018, Ehsan and his co-founder (Dr. David Squirrell) started Toku Eyes, a social enterprise focused on his life’s goal: helping to prevent blindness on a large scale. Today, Toku Eyes’ AI platform is being used in many clinics across the US, India, Australia, and New Zealand, identifying people at the risk of blindness from downtown LA to rural India.

Ehsan Vagheri’s Contact & Resources:



Click here for video on Oraicle Product by Toku Eyes

Special Thanks to our Co-Host:  Atif Zafar whose bio and contact information are found below:

Atif Zafar

Healthcare IT / Artificial Intelligence / Informatics

Dr. Atif Zafar is a board-certified internist currently in practice as a hospitalist with Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, IN. He has over 20 years of experience working with health information technology. He has specific post-doctoral training in Medical Informatics from Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute for Healthcare, a world-leading authority on healthcare IT and medical informatics. He has served on numerous national panels and grant review study sections at the NIH and at AHRQ related to healthcare IT. He is on the review committees of several major scientific journals including the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, the Journal of the American Association of Family Practice, and Medical Care, and the Journal of the Society for General Internal Medicine.

More specifically, Zafar has been involved with numerous national and international projects related to healthcare IT. He served as a founding member of the AHRQ National Health IT Resource Center (HITRC) that was central to President Bush’s initiative to spearhead the adoption of electronic health records nationwide and was one of the principal thought leaders and information architects for the National Healthcare IT Resource Center website. He served on the Consumer Task Force of the Nationwide Health Information Network initiative (NHIN) which aims to connect local RHIOs (Regional Health Information Organizations) to a nationwide network. He also was one of the principal study section members that reviewed $120 million in funding to support NIH grants related to healthcare IT that was supported by President Bush’s healthcare IT initiative. Locally, he served on Indiana University’s Institutional Review Board for over 10 years.

He has also directly or indirectly been involved (either as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator) in over $25 million in grant-funded healthcare IT projects while at the Regenstrief Institute. He has taught fellows, residents, and medical students about healthcare IT while an Associate Professor of Medicine at Indiana University. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 research papers and more recently a book chapter on healthcare IT.

Zafar is a self-taught engineer and entrepreneur, who has multiple disruptive projects ongoing. His first venture was as co-founder of Meridian Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. an early-stage startup company seeking to change the paradigm for the treatment of cardiovascular disease using novel catheter-based technologies. He subsequently co-founded bRANE Technologies, a high-tech startup doing work to combine mobile technology with high-performance computing at the edge and in embedded spaces. Pixilica is an early-stage company building tiny machines, performing 40 billion operations a second while dissipating only 2 watts of power.

Over his career, he has raised $30 million in funding through both grants and direct investments.