The Bern Photographic Reading Center (BPRC)

The BPRC is an internationally renowned center for coordination and independent evaluation of images obtained in multicenter clinical trials. 

Retinal diseases like exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD), vein occlusions,  diabetic macula edema or diabetic retinopathy (DME / DRP) are at the focus of attention in many recent studies testing novel therapies. In these studies patients are examined by state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging devices (specialized stereo fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography). 

For examination of large groups of patients, studies are held in many centers (eye clinics and practice) around the globe (multicenter study). The BPRC cooperates with the centers and clinics where patients are treated and coordinates the image acquisition. 

A reading center has to be independent for unbiased and objective evaluation of images. The BPRC fulfils the high standards of the European Vision Institutes / Clinical Trials / Sites of Excellence (EVI.CT.SE, CS Nr. 20) and the principles of Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP). 

To ensure high imaging quality and to compare quality standards among the clinical sites BPRC offers certification and real-time teaching for investigators and photographers. This also ensures high quality standards for each study. 

All images acquired in studies are collected by the BPRC and transferred by the administrative staff into a digital data base. Highest data security standards are applied throughout each project – from image acquisition to analysis and long-term storage.

A team of graders analyzes each image regarding endpoints that are specific to the study. The graders perform the “grading”, the actual evaluation of the patient’s state according to defined criteria. This "grading" procedure is objective, independent and blinded. All patient data are processed in coded manner and without personal details. 

"Grading" results of the BPRC are then forwarded to statistical analysis and discussion of study results. BPRC is available for consultations with study designees, monitors and coordinators. We ensure quick data management and smooth data processing. 

Our internal quality control makes us consistently reconsider our work and optimizes our working steps. The BPRC staff consists many trained MDs / Ophthalmologists as grader and consultants. All BPRC member receive steady teaching for being up-to-date in ophthalmologic and general health issues.