JUN 19, 2019
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
A small pilot study suggests patients with severe AMD may gain functional vision while wearing augmented reality (AR) glasses that move images out of a diseased spot into adjacent, healthy areas of the retina.
Developed by Ocutrx Vision Technologies, the Oculenz AR Wear glasses feature floating lenses, weigh just 200 grams—less than half as much as previous designs—and are designed to provide a bright, unobstructed field of view. The headset relies on a technology known as modified real-time streaming video, patented last year, to rearrange and project images to the intact areas of the retina.
During the study, participants wore the headset in self-calibration mode to outline their scotoma; investigators matched the area of non-vision with a fundus autofluorescence photo. The headset then operates in a variety of modes depending on the task: In Reading Mode, for example, paragraphs of text are shifted from left to right to avoid the area of non-vision.
On average, the headset led to a 20/200 to 20/63 improvement in BCVA, a 5-line gain on the logMAR chart and enhanced recognition of familiar faces. All participants—including some who had been unable to read for years prior—read 30-point type at a standard pace, with some reading 12-point type.
“The science and technology that allowed this pre-pilot study to achieve such encouraging results is truly exciting and it has energized the Ocutrx team to continue to push to revolutionize the way we help patients with AMD,” said Michael Freeman, Ocutrx founder and CEO.
“However, all of that excitement pales in comparison to the feeling of joy when seeing the look on a wife’s face while watching her husband sail through a basic vision test he wouldn’t have had any chance of passing for the past several years or even decades. The tangible improvement to our patient’s everyday lives is one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”
The company plans to deliver complete results of the study at the 19th European VitreoRetinal Society Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 27.