One of the biggest problems facing developing countries is the lack of access to healthcare, even access to the most rudimentary of tests and procedures. As such, very minor injuries and ailments – left untreated and/or un-diagnosed – can drastically impact individual’s quality of life. Chief among these ailments are vision problems. More often than not, vision problems are relatively easy to fix with glasses. That said, the fix requires knowing exactly what is wrong with the eye. The problem is more with the diagnosis than it is with the fix. The equipment required to perform simple vision tests costs anywhere from $20,000 – $40,000. While this may not be much to a large practice in the U.S., it is quit prohibitive to, say, a doctor in rural Pakistan. Well, Smart Vision Labs, a New York startup, just raised a $6.1M round, from Techstars Ventures and others, to ramp up the production of their affordable eye exam technology.
Over one billion people worldwide suffer from uncorrected refractive errors. Especially in developing countries, insufficient vision care perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty by reducing productivity in middle-age workers and hampering educational opportunities for children. Even in the United States, less than half of the 200 million people who wear corrective lenses visit their vision care provider once a year as recommended by the American Optometric Association: most patients get eye exams only once every two years.1
The SVOne is available for a much more palatable price of just under $4,000. What’s more, as you can see above, the device is incredibly portable. The SVOne is actually an adapter that connects to an iPhone 5S – which is included in each purchase. Further, the simple to use SVOne takes just about 5 seconds to diagnose each eye:
With a single click, our device captures a wavefront map of the eye which we use to determine a patient’s prescription. It can also detect the earliest signs of cataracts, tumors, and higher-level aberrations of the eye.2
The company plans to use the funding to scale the production of the device, and to build out their sales team.
- PRNewswire, “Smart Vision Labs Raises $6.1M Series A Led by Techstars Ventures,” 22 June 2015 ▲
- AngelList, “Smart Vision Labs” ▲