Experts estimate that nearly half of people living with dementia remain undiagnosed. If certain types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, were caught early in their development, they could give caregivers and patients more time to plan, start treatments, and manage their illness instead of taking emergency measures. Optina Diagnostics’ early disease detection platform leverages a hyperspectral camera and AI technology to analyze the retina during a routine clinic visit, eliminating the need for specialist consultations. This innovative approach simplifies the detection process and makes it more accessible, offering hope for earlier and more widespread detection of Alzheimer’s disease.


Clean data
Refining the AI algorithm that powers Optina’s software system calls for clean data – well-structured, duplicate-free, and error-free datasets. Manually gathering and cleansing the vast quantities of data required to train this algorithm would be time-consuming and prone to human errors.

Multiple studies
Optina intended to run multiple studies on their detection device, requiring extra setup and planning. They needed a way to optimize the development stages of their studies so they could move more quickly (and with less cost) to implementation of their technology.

  • Industry


  • Challenge

    Optina Diagnostics requires massive amounts of clean data across multiple studies on their detection device in order to efficiently train their AI algorithm.

  • Solution

    Optina used Castor’s platform to collect pristine data electronically and scale to independent study builds after initial professional services assistance.

  • Result

    Optina was able to save time and money using Castor’s tools. Since partnering with Castor, Optina’s device has gained FDA clearance and Optina is now conducting a pivotal study to validate the AI-based test.

Partnering with Castor

Castor’s intuitive data management software provided the solutions to these two challenges:

  • Clean data for a high-quality AI algorithm: Optina pivoted to using Castor’s electronic data capture (EDC) system to collect their data, reducing the need for cleaning before use. Automated data collection generates cleaner data by eliminating transcription errors and using structured, standardized methods. This ensured the datasets provided quality training material for Optina’s AI algorithm. Optina also used Castor EDC to check for data discrepancies, manage mid-study changes with the FormSync feature, run source data verification, monitor and report on study progress, and modify staff permissions.
  • Setting Optina up for self-build success: Optina’s system has enormous potential for not only Alzheimer’s disease but also other health conditions that would benefit from early diagnosis, such as coronary disease. Their goal was to run multiple studies. Once Castor’s professional services team helped Optina build their first study in the EDC system, the Optina team went on to confidently build additional studies unaided. They have built 12 studies themselves, and depending on the study, have been able to build studies in 1-2 weeks. Castor’s intuitive, user-friendly software simplified the build process.

Since partnering with Castor, Optina’s device has gained FDA clearance and Optina is now conducting a pivotal study to validate their diagnostic test. The device is moving closer to commercialization, giving more people with Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions access to the early diagnoses they need to plan and start treatment sooner.

Optina was able to save time and money using Castor’s tools. From electronically collecting pristine datasets to building studies themselves within weeks—partnering with Castor made the whole process simpler without sacrificing quality.

As a startup, we are very data hungry. I love Castor and its tools - Being able to lock by participant and by field, using the tracking tool for snapshots of how we’re doing with enrollment, and the annotated CRF so sites can see what we’re looking for. We also give the sites Castor Academy which is helpful training for them.

Shannon Campbell, VP of Clinical & Medical Affairs

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