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R&D collaboration focuses on new system for measuring and improving human vision
Date:7/13/2011

With research and development assistance from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and seed funding from the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), an Atlanta-based company is developing what it hopes will be the next-generation instrument for optimizing eyesight for the hundreds of millions of people who wear glasses or contacts or who are candidates for corrective surgery.

To be used by optometrists and ophthalmologists, the instrument known as the VisionOptimizer is intended to provide more accurate vision measurements, along with a more patient-friendly and engaging vision test. The company believes its system will facilitate the custom-manufacturing of spectacles and contact lenses that provide better eyesight and improved wearing comfort compared to conventional prescriptions.

"We've known for a long time that many prescriptions produced by existing methods really didn't optimize the patient's vision, but until now we haven't had a way to make more accurate measurements or to use that information to produce better lenses," said Keith Thompson, a surgeon and ophthalmologist who is also the CEO of DigitalVision LLC, the company developing the VisionOptimizer. "Today's patients need razor-sharp vision to use their smart phones, spend hours at their computers and enjoy sports on the weekends."

Eye doctors currently prescribe glasses and contact lenses using measurements obtained with the phoropter, an instrument that has changed little since it was introduced in the early 1900s. During a conventional vision test, the patient looks through the phoropter at an eye chart while the doctor dials different corrective lenses into position. The patient is asked to choose which set of lenses provides the clearest view of letters on the eye chart.

Phoropter measurements are limited to increments of a quarter of a diopter of resolution. The resulting glasses or contact lenses often fail to provide all of the vision improvement
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Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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