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Almost a billion people worldwide lack access to affordable vision care. An important part of an eye exam is the measurement of a patient's refractive error. This is often measured with an auto-refractor, traditionally an expensive, bulky, tabletop device.
The SVOne is a significantly smaller and more cost-accessible auto-refractor. By combining a powered optics module with the processing capability and sensors of a smartphone, the SVOne can achieve professional results without the expense and bulk of a traditional auto-refractor. The networked device also allows doctors to remotely review results and issue prescriptions. The goal of the SVOne is to improve access to vision care.
As Smart Vision Labs' primary product, the SVOne accommodates two use cases:
1. In-person exam - An eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) administers an eye exam to a patient. The doctor would personally use the SVOne to measure the patient's refractive error as part of a comprehensive eye exam.
2. Remote refraction - In situations where an eye doctor isn't available, an optician or other health worker can guide a patient through a refractive evaluation. The data is then sent to a remote eye doctor, who can review the data and issue an eyewear prescription.
The remote refraction capabilities allow patients in underdeveloped or isolated areas to benefit from a vision screening even if they are unable to physically visit an eye doctor. Remote capabilities also allow retail customers to receive an eyewear prescription without an in-person doctor's visit. This service is useful if a customer quickly needs to renew a prescription or replace lost glasses. If the doctor notes any issues, the doctor can recommend a patient receive a comprehensive in-person eye exam.
Perceived accuracy - Other auto-refractors share design and branding cues with medical devices. Because the SVOne delivers better results than its small size might indicate, the design language needed to communicate accuracy to clinicians and customers. The SVOne is designed to look like a precision optical device, rather than a low-end medical device.
Product architecture and ergonomics - The same components that allowed the SVOne to be cost-effective (an off-the-shelf smartphone and an optics module) also created design challenges. There wasn't much flexibility in the placement of the internal components, however the product itself still needed to work well in clinicians' hands.
While many handheld optical devices force the user into a single prescribed grip, the SVOne's large barrel grip area allows clinicians to vary their grip. The eye cup fits a variety of facial structures.
As a handheld device, the SVOne is smaller and lighter than a traditional auto-refractor. During humanitarian trips or on-site health screenings, an eye doctor can easily pack and move the SVOne. The reduced physical size of the handheld SVOne also creates a more personal patient interaction than traditional auto-refractors.
Global Impact - For every ten devices sold, Smart Vision Labs donates a SVOne device to one of their partners. Smart Vision Labs' partners have used the SVOne for humanitarian purposes in the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Ethiopia, China, and other countries.
Local Impact - Vision screenings are common in many US schools; however, a child's family may not have the means to correct known vision impairments. As a New York City based startup, Smart Vision Labs participates in several local education initiatives, using the SVOne to help provide free vision exams and prescription glasses to underserved students.