A major breakthrough in detecting eyesight problems in very young children has been made with revolutionary eye technology invented at the University of Auckland.
Adapted from NZ Herald Article - University of Auckland: NZ invention could revolutionise global eyecare
Adam Podmore, CEO of Objective Acuity - a start-up company spun out of the University of Auckland's innovation ecosystem - hopes Objective Acuity technology will be used by optometrists and eye specialists around the world: "It addresses an unmet need, particularly in children; it's estimated one in five children have visual problems that are undetected and 80 per cent of learning happens through their eyes up to the age of 12.
Identifying vision problems in babies and toddlers has long been a difficult and often stressful process. But the new technology can pick up childhood vision problems without children having to read a chart or identify pictures to get an accurate and reliable measurement.
While the initial focus is on improving eyesight outcomes in children, they are also looking to complement or replace traditional eye charts used in adult eye care.
The start-up company has investment backing from UniServices, through the University of Auckland Inventors Fund, Powerhouse Ventures, and Callaghan Innovation.
The company has also had the assistance of the Return On Science national commercialisation programme at UniServices. Return On Science programme and commercialisation director Graham Scown says Objective Acuity is an "incredibly exciting" technology able to make a difference in a large market.
"It's a fantastic example of what we are doing. We're not just picking up technology and flicking it off to corporates offshore. This is a start-up company with huge potential in a big market and it's on its way, through the efforts of central government and UniServices to make the best resources available to get it there," he says.
"We occasionally see novel technologies come through that are just solving the same problem in a different way. This one solves the current problem in a significantly better way."