Archives for August 2015

VisionMonday: Volk Debuts Eye Check – a Handheld, Digital Ocular Measurement Device


VisionMonday Vmail Technology – August 13, 2015


Product: Eye Check

Top Line: Volk Eye Check is a mobile, handheld ocular imaging and screening device. It takes measurements of the eyes for use in the fitting of standard and specialty contact lenses as well as in aiding the diagnosis of strabismus, anisocoria, ptosis, and buphthalmos.

Close Up: Volk Eye Check fully automates the analysis and display of diagnostic eye measurements in real time. Volk Eye Check is intended to provide objective data to ophthalmic and optometric clinicians to enable smarter, faster decisions. Volk Eye Check can be seamlessly integrated into a clinician’s environment and work flow, bringing instant value as a simple method for quick, cost-effective ocular measurements.

Vital Stats: Eye Check’s greatest value is most readily apparent for fitting contact lenses (particularly hard-to-fit specialty contact lenses) or in screening general and pediatric patients within a practice, according to Volk. As such, Eye Check has two convenient software modes for use in ocular measurement:

Contact Lens (CL) Mode
Contact Lens (CL) Mode guides clinicians to the most appropriate first-choice contact lens via measurement of HVID, pupils, lids, and sagittal height, rather than clinician-preferred lens-to-fit. CL Mode reduces trial-and-error in fitting contact lenses by providing the accurate size of irises, pupils, lid position, and pupil eccentricity. It incorporates the Best-Fit-Analysis tool pack. The Best-Fit-Analysis will supplement the Contact Lens report that is emailed to the doctor after capturing images in a patient session. The Best-Fit-Analysis will provide ODs with a list of contact lens brands (and the exact lens sizes) that will fit the exact patient in question. This will prevent ODs from wasting time trialing contact lenses that will are likely not to fit the patient. This can greatly impact the drop-out rate of patients who attempt to wear contact lenses.
The Best-Fit-Analysis is expected to benefit ODs prescribing speciality lenses, hard lenses, and monthly lenses. ODs will even be able to provide Volk Optical with a list of contact lens brands that they prefer to prescribe and the resulting CL report with Best-Fit-Analysis will be custom-tailored to feature these specific lens brands. The Best-Fit-Analysis is expected to provide even greater value to the OD by saving valuable time (and trial and error) in the proper selection and fitting of standard and specialty contact lenses.

Eye Check (EC) Mode
The Eye Check (EC) mode enables detection and confirmation of strabismus, anisocoria and ptosis. It provides objective and repeatable measurements of key eye features such as pupil size, iris diameter, lid position, eye aperture, and strabismus angle. It also provides objective digital documentation of eye features and eye conditions; retention of electronic records and helpful for onward referrals.
The EC Mode reduces inter-clinician variability and standardizes testing and fitting across practices and between clinicians in multi-site environments such as optometry chains and healthcare groups. It complements and enhances standard examinations, such as the cover test; assessment of anisocoria, ptosis, buphthalmos. It is particularly helpful when clinician is unsure about strabismus, pupil size, lid position and can reduce potentially missed conditions.

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City AM: How crowdfunding will revolutionise R&D – What platforms offer the world’s most innovative businesses

City AM

by Harriet Green

Iriss Medical recently closed a round on Seedrs, 197 per cent funded. The company makes an innovative medical device which performs automatic eye tests aimed at the early detection and prevention of lazy eye in children. It raised £491,387 for 4.92 per cent equity.
Over the past decade, donation-based crowdfunding has played a reasonably prominent role in helping to fund technological development. DIY robots have been funded on Kickstarter, along with drones and 3D printers. In the US, it has become an alternative go-to for science researchers struggling to get grants., for example, is a platform devoted to donation-based crowdfunding of scientific projects. It’s backed by Bill Gates, who writes on the website: “this solution helps close the gap for potential and promising, but unfunded projects”.
But as the crowdfunding industry has evolved, businesses which have in the past looked to donation-based funding have started offering equity to investors. Iriss is just the latest example.


Yet although increasing numbers of tech businesses are turning to equity crowdfunding, provision for research and development (R&D) projects – particularly for firms that are still at the pre-product stage, but also those that are pre-market – is still extremely limited. “You generally see companies that have a prototype or are on a clear path to have a product. The (usually donation-based) crowdfunding supports the commercialisation of the product,” explains Thomas Tanghe, an associate at Space Tec, which last year authored Crowdfunding Innovative Ventures in Europe for the European Commission. “R&D isn’t very application driven generally – otherwise, you’d call it product development,” he adds. This makes offering equity and debentures very difficult – investors aren’t just betting on a high-risk startup, but often on a model with no clear path to revenue generation.
But does this mean that R&D and equity and debt crowdfunding simply aren’t compatible? Not at all, says professor Raghu Rau, director of research and head of finance & accounting at the Cambridge Judge Business School, who expects to see the market take off over the next three to four years. “R&D doesn’t work well for banks – they’re giving money based on financial ratios, provable numbers. R&D is, by its very nature, nebulous and intangible. If you can’t get funded on the open market, crowdfunding enables you to raise money from an equity market without going public.”
One of the reasons crowdfunding as an industry has taken off, Rau says, is that it decreases upfront costs and the cost of monitoring – investors make a direct assessment themselves.

Iriss Medical’s device performs automatic eye tests aimed at the early detection of lazy eye