The augmented reality headset compensates for central vision loss to enhance the visual clarity of patients with age-related macular degeneration and other conditions such as Stargardt disease.
Ocutrx Technologies has designed OcuLenz, a new augmented reality headset to enhance the visual clarity for those patients who have advanced macular degenerations. These conditions may include age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt disease.
The OcuLenz headset is designed to be lightweight and user-friendly. It works by overlaying high-contract, pixel-manipulated images onto the user’s remaining viable field of view. This is different from traditional magnification aids because it provides visual assistance through real-world video imagery in an augmented reality display that is tailored to the user’s remaining visual field. This allows for a fully-immersive and practical visual experience for the user to complete everyday tasks. The headset also integrates with Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, meaning the OcuLenz doubles as a versatile connectivity tool akin to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
OcuLenz is set for commercial release in the first half of 2024, with Ocutrx actively working to secure coverage from Medicare and commercial insurance providers. This effort is key to ensuring that all patients affected by AMD who could benefit from OcuLenz have affordable access to this transformative technology.1
Co-founder Michael Freeman, serving as CEO and CTO, shared in the company’s press release the impact this device can have, saying "Having personally witnessed the profound effects of visual impairment within my own family, the inception of OcuLenz extends beyond technological innovation. It's a portal to a more vivid and fuller life for many. Our device isn't merely an advancement in Augmented Reality tech; it's a substantial stride towards improving life's quality. We're making the once unvisible visible, opening up a world so many have been missing." Mitchael Freeman, Michael's brother, serves as COO for Ocutrx.1
This device was inspired by the co-founders' father's struggle with AMD. Brig. Gen Richard C. Freeman was a US Air Force fighter pilot and serial entrepreneur sidelined with AMD. The Freeman brothers co-founded Ocutrx with a clear purpose: to create a transformative solution for those suffering from this challenging condition. Their first-hand experience with their father's struggles served as a driving force for the innovation and development of OcuLenz. Ocutrx has been conducting Clinical Trials with AMD patients at the Tulsa Retina Consultants clinic in conjunction with their Certified Clinical Research Coordinator and the physicians there.1
Dr. Thomas A. Finley, president and chief surgeon at Tulsa Retinal Consultants shared his experience with the OcuLenz, saying, ""As General Freeman's doctor and an early supporter of OcuLenz, I was inspired by the Freeman brothers' dedication to their father and quickly recognized the transformative potential of their invention. The launch of OcuLenz marks a significant milestone for patients with AMD. Observing my patients reclaim not only their independence but also see the joy on their faces as they are once again able to see family members' faces, read a magazine, watch their favorite shows, and engage in hobbies that were once hindered by their vision loss is one of the most rewarding experiences ever for a clinician."1