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Please give us a brief overview of the Ocutrx.
After my Father, Brigadier General Richard Freeman, developed Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), my brother and I developed an algorithm using pixel manipulation that allows people with AMD and low vision to recognize faces and read again. Our proprietary product, the Oculenz™ AR headset, locates the patient’s scotoma (or “blind spot”) and shifts images or letters away from the defected area, allowing patients to see normally as if they did not have a blind spot.
To deal with the challenges posed by COVID, we developed a 4K AR headset for telemedicine that allows patients and doctors to see each other virtually without the patient ever needing to leave their home. This head set allows users to take various visual field tests and other types of tests while wearing the headset and will send results to the doctor over a HIPAA-secured cloud.
Also, while working with our International Medical Advisory Board (IMAB) (most of whom are surgeons), we realized that surgeons struggle with traditional surgery equipment while in the OR. A survey of the American Academy of ophthalmology in 2018 revealed that over 50% of surgeons reported pain during surgery, 15% limit the amount of surgeries they perform, and 7% retire early due to pain involved while performing surgeries. To solve this issue, Ocutex invented a solution: the OR-Bot™, Surgery Visualization Theatre. Traditionally, a surgeon would have strain their neck to crane over the standard operating microscope, or twist their hips to view a TV monitor. On the contrary, The OR-Bot will give a surgeon three unique and comfortable viewing options that allows them to sit in a more natural position, including: ORLenz™ Surgery Visualization AR Headset while portrays 3D digital surgery video onto the lens of the headset; StereoLenz™ 4K “glasses free” 3D Monitor that eliminates the need to wear 3D glasses to see the 3D screen; MiniLenz™ 4K VR Microscope which is affixed to a gravity compensated cobotic arm, which moves automatically at the surgeons’ command and moves around with surgeons head, making the process comfortable for them.
How does the technology work and make the process easier for patients?
For low-vision patients, they will be able to wear their Oculenz heads from sunup to sundown, and it will help them complete daily activities more independently and without visual strain.
Surgeon’s would never want to consider themselves patients, but unfortunately surgeons are being forced to undergo surgery themselves due to the poor ergonomics of the Operating Room. Our OR-Bot with ORLenz AR headset will enable surgeons to operate longer into their careers by offering a more natural and technically advanced surgery visualization theatre.
Our offerings will enable surgeons to operate longer into their careers without ergonomic strain by moving them away from current legacy surgery systems
Could you elaborate on your go-to-market strategies?
We are building a new two-circuit board for our AR wearables with the help of Qualcomm. We are currently working on reducing the size of our prototype to make it as small as possible. We are in contract with AT&T to provide both Wi-Fi and cellular services through the headset, enables the headset to be either cellular connected or Wi-Fi connected with voice over IP. Also, through our partnership with AT&T, the Oculenz headset and ORLenz headset will use 5G edge computing, giving users more computing power on a real-time basis and enabling us to work quickly and reduce the response time to 20 to 10 milliseconds. The Oculenz will also implement a version of simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology for location tracking that helps wearers to avoid obstacles and navigate areas easily. About 13 million people in the United States have defects in their eye due to macular degeneration, and our technology will enable them to perform daily activities efficiently with AR headset. Therefore, we are working with low vision centers, ophthalmologists, and retinal surgeons to deliver our products to macular degeneration and other low vision issues. Further, we are partnering with the significant strategists to get the product into the market effectively.
Could you give us a case study where you helped your clients in mitigating the challenges they face?
In our first clinical trial with the Oculenz AMD headset for advanced macular degeneration, we conducted a study on numerous patients who haven’t read for over a year. The trial outcome revealed that everybody with bilateral macular degeneration with large scotoma was able to read again at an average reading pace. If a cataract patient reads three lines down on the logMAR chart, it is considered a positive outcome, however, our patients were able to read five lines down on the logMAR chart while using the Oculenz, which is a dramatic improvement in vision. For instance, following the Retina Society conference in London last year, impressed by our headset, a retinal surgeon brought his father to try the Ocuelnz. With our headset, the patient was able to read his favorite book, in eight-point type, that he hadn’t been able to read for years. Moreover, last year at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 300 surgeons tried on our ORLenz surgery visualization headsets. Retinal surgeons and ophthalmologists worldwide believe that our disruptive technology will bring a new wave to the future in all ways for the surgeon.
What does the future look like for the Ocutrx?
We have finished our prototypes and will make a further push by the end of the year before entering the market. We are on the final commercialized model for both the Oculenz AR headset for AMD low-vision and ORLenz AR headset for surgery visualization. The Oculenz is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2021 and available in the market for sales. Pre-orders for the Oculenz can be made at Oculenz.com.
Regarding the OR-Bot, we have made inroads with key opinion leaders and top-notch surgeons throughout Europe and the U.S. We are receiving significant support and ready for adoption attitudes from the medical side, including surgeons, nurses, radiologists, and tech, who help surgeons. (Spoiler alert, Radiologists will soon be able to see both the patient and the information inside of the patient’s body without turning to the opposite direction to use a computer screen during radiology.)We are thankful to have had immense support for our research and technology development from the medical community, with about 60 to 70 percent of investment from retinal surgeons, ophthalmologists, vascular surgeons, or neurosurgeons. These influencers along with our partners like Qualcomm, AT&T, and Sony make the future of Ocutrx appear bright.