Michael Freeman, founder and CEO, Ocutrx
Michael Freeman, the CEO of Ocutrx Vision Technologies, recollects the gift he and his brother bought for their father, General Richard C. Freeman – the latest curved TV from Sony, which was the rage in 2013. The brothers were pleasantly surprised to know that their father, who was suffering from advanced macular degeneration, could see better when more of the image was displayed onto the periphery of his eyes. General Freeman, a successful businessman who owned a fast-growing computer company, inspired his sons to develop a solution that could help patients with macular degeneration and other visual defects, leading to the genesis of Ocutrx.
California-based Ocutrx Vision Technologies offers a revolutionary AR headset for patients with macular degeneration and other central eye defects called Oculenz. Close to 13 million people in the U.S. and over 80 million across the world suffer from macular degeneration. With the motto of “AR Glasses for the Masses,” Oculenz, possessing the widest field-of-vision in the industry, ensures a clear line-of-sight to the user without obstructing their field-of-view.
“The Oculenz headset conducts a visual field test per eye to map a patient’s retinal defects,” explains Freeman. Based on the test, the headset determines the blind spots in the user’s field of vision and locates the scotoma present in the patient’s eye. Once the scotoma is located, Oculenz displays the images to the functional areas of the retina or areas adjacent to the peripheral retina through neuroadaptation, and this can be adjusted using the controls on the headset. With eye-tracking cameras and infrared technology, the scotoma in the eye is aligned with the scotoma marker in the headset to provide uninterrupted vision to the user.
What puts Ocutrx in a class of its own is unique features like widest field of view and lightest weight in comparison to its competitors.
Oculenz offers a 120-degree field-of-view with a resolution of 60 pixels per degree, which is the highest an eye can see at 20/20. Oculenz captures, tracks, and processes eye movements to magnify images for patients with advanced macular degeneration and other eye movement disorders. Clinical trials conducted on patients with 20/200 or poorer vision without Oculenz have shown visual improvement up to 20/63 using Oculenz – which is the difference between being legally blind to being able to read.
The Oculenz headset conducts a visual field test per eye to map a patient’s retinal defects
Another striking feature of Oculenz is its use of SLAM technology (simultaneous localization and mapping, which is used to help autonomous cars identify objects. SLAM technology in the headset uses sensors to identify people, objects, and surroundings and maps everything in their line of sight. The voice feature in the headset audibly guides the person and alerts them of the obstacles to avoid.
Physicians can monitor the scotoma in real-time using Oculenz, which detects the changes in an AMD patient’s visual field. In the case of scotoma enlargement or other emergencies, Oculenz alerts the physicians using its Bluetooth and Wifi capabilities for connectivity. For users, part of the expenses for monitoring purposes can be paid using reimbursement codes through Medicare and Medicare advantage account insurance.
Currently, the Ocutrx team is working on the design and development of ORLenz, a surgery visualization AR headset that will help surgeons and specialists improve the outcome of their surgical procedures. ORLenz like Oculenz, possess a 120-degree field of view with the highest resolution and features its own 6DoF for enhanced 2D and 3D graphics and holograms of digital microscope images from the surgical procedure. ORLenz operates with WiDtrx wireless system to allow video transmission at speeds as fast as HDMI cables, which allows the headset to be wireless and tetherless. For the first time ever, surgeons will have complete freedom of movement and will be able to perform surgeries in a more ergonomic way with comfort and complete freedom.
“As the demand for AR technologies in the medical space increases, our state-of-the-art headsets will prove to be revolutionary,” concludes Freeman.