Innovega’s eMacula System Shows Potential for Visually Impaired

The use of Innovega Inc.’s eMacula® system, which pairs smart contact lenses with stylish display eyewear, demonstrated positive results with partially sighted subjects for their daily tasks including reading, smartphone use, and distance vision according to research conducted at The Ohio State University (OSU). The research was presented in a scientific poster during a recent annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

The OSU study, conducted by Drs. San-San Cooley, Rebecca Deffler, and Bradley Dougherty, was funded in part by a grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

The Innovega eMacula system uses spectacle-mounted microdisplays and iOptik® smart contact lenses to enhance vision with magnification and image modification. The purpose of this study, with people having reduced vision that cannot be improved with prescription glasses, contact lenses or surgery, was to evaluate the system’s usefulness for near and distance visual tasks, and gather their opinions of the device.

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The eMacula system evaluation was conducted with nine visually impaired participants who were recruited from the OSU Low Vision Rehabilitation Service. Visual acuity was improved in each eye tested with the device. Study participants also rated the comfort of the smart contact lenses at an average of 7.1 on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent). Three quarters of subjects felt the device would likely improve performance on tasks of daily living and increase their independence.

“The results of the evaluation of the Innovega contact lens-enabled wearable display system support the potential to provide the wide field of view required when magnifying content along with high resolution and control of brightness and contrast for visually impaired users,” said Dr. Bradley Dougherty, co-investigator and Associate Professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

Innovega is jointly developing display eyewear and software for the visually impaired and investing in process engineering to lower the cost of its molded soft smart contact lenses with the goal of commercializing a monthly disposable contact lens.

“We are encouraged by the results of this study and we received valuable feedback for further refinements of image processing and improvements in camera specifications,” said Dr. Jerry Legerton, Innovega Co-Founder and Chief Clinical and Regulatory Officer. “We look forward to the next clinical evaluation with visually impaired subjects following advancing our clinical trials for regulatory clearance of the iOptik contact lenses with the fully sighted.”

About Innovega
Innovega Inc. is developing stylish, lightweight, wearable displays that feature a high-resolution, panoramic-field-of-view system for medical, consumer, and industrial application. The Company is licensing its technology into the $74 billion global vision care market with a first focus on image enhancement for the visually impaired. Its transformative patented platform, eMacula®, combines eyewear and iOptik® high-resolution smart contact lenses to deliver broad application in medicine, augmented reality and virtual reality. The Company has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Eye Institute of National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation; and received investments from strategic partners.