Sep 13, 2021

New eyecare technology may be headed to the market

By Annette Gutierrez

SARASOTA COUNTY (WSNN) – If you’re suffering from macular degeneration, there’s a new eye device that may be headed to the market. Medical experts say it could be a game-changer.

When Larry Hoffheimer looked at his door, he knew something was wrong. Now, new technology may offer hope for an eye condition that could have left him legally blind.

“I noticed that my doorjamb was jagged. Knowing the symptoms of wet macular degeneration, I immediately called my ophthalmologist who happened to be a retinal specialist,” Macular Degeneration Association Chairman and Founder Larry Hoffheimer said.

That was three years ago. Hoffheimer’s doctor diagnosed him with wet macular degeneration, an eye disease, in which leaky blood vessels grow under the retina causing vision loss. Ever since then, he’s been receiving anti-VEGF therapy eye injections every six to eight weeks.

“Patients are on eye injection schedules, and we adjust that based on clinical exams as well as imaging such as OCT,” The Eye Associates Ophthalmologist Dr. Joshua Mali MD said.
OCT or Optical coherence tomography. Sarasota Ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Dr. Joshua Mali uses this technology every day.

“It’s like the MRI of the retina,” Dr. Mali said. “It really gives us the anatomy of the retina to help diagnose and treat conditions like AMD.”

Here’s the gamechanger, a new device called Home OCT could help optimize the eye injection treatment regimen. A digital healthcare provider based in Israel and Virginia called Notal Vision, developed the device to monitor patients with wet AMD.
“Patients will be able to scan their eyes in the comfort of their home, and then will be prompted by the doctor’s office to come to their visit when they really need a treatment,” Notal Vision’s CEO Dr. Kester Nahen said.

It’s undergoing clinical trials to get FDA approved. There will be about 15 practices across the country in the trials, and two may be right here in Florida. One of the candidates is Dr. Mali.

“We’re lucky to have that here in our region,” Dr. Mali said. “I’m really excited about it. Potentially with this device, we’re able to pinpoint that interval better and get patients more personalized, more precise injection frequency.”

For some patients, this may mean more office visits, for others it may mean less. The latter is what Hoffheimer is hoping for.

“I do not want to keep going to the doctor’s office,” Hoffheimer said.  The device is tele-connected. So Notal Vision receives the images, analyzes them, and then informs the physicians whether the patient needs treatment.  This new technology would be prescribed to you by your retinal specialist or ophthalmologist. Notal Vision is hoping to get the device FDA approved by the end of next year.

Joshua Mali, MD is MDA’s  Medical Director- Retina

Read More:https://www.snntv.com/story/44703117/new-eyecare-technology-may-be-headed-to-the-market

Source: Notal Vision, Macular Degeneration Association (MDA) and The Eye Associates

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