Retail medical clinics such as those located in pharmacies and grocery stores recently gained a powerful new tool. Shopper-patients at Albertson’s grocery stores who stop by a CarePortMD retail clinic inside the store can have their eyes tested for diabetic retinopathy (DR) without meeting with an eye doctor.

CarePortMD clinics use IDx-DR, a diagnostic system that is FDA-cleared to detect and diagnose diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. IDx-DR captures and transmits the exam results (including an AI-driven diagnosis) directly to the patient’s physician. The IDx-DR system is the first product from IDx, a Coralville, Indiana AI diagnostics company dedicated to detecting diseases from medical images.

An IDx-DR exam takes 5 to 10 minutes. A nurse takes pictures of the patients’ retina with an automated fundus camera. The IDx system scans the results with autonomous AI algorithms and produces a diagnostic report immediately. A CarePortMD primary care physician discusses the diagnosis with the patient and encourages a follow-up with his or her regular doctor as needed.

IDx is currently developing image-based diagnostics systems for macular degeneration, glaucoma, stroke risk, and ear infection. We’ve written many times about machine-learning-driven AI diagnosis and care plans. Walk-in and pop-up retail clinics that read biometric test data and diagnose illness or serious health conditions are a powerful new medical tool with the potential to increase patient access and reduce costs.