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SBIR Phase I: Single shot coded Photo-Refraction to Measure High-Order Aberrations as a Low-Cost Add-On for Smart Phones

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1345968
Agency Tracking Number: 1345968
Amount: $149,116.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-06-30
Small Business Information
35 Medford Street
Somerville, MA 02143-4238
United States
DUNS: 078446763
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vitor Pamplona
 (617) 318-8685
Business Contact
 Vitor Pamplona
Title: PhD
Phone: (617) 318-8685
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is integral to the success of an award-­winning self-­test diagnostic technology that measures refractive errors and detects higher-order aberrations of the human eye. A total of 4.2 billion people worldwide require corrective eyewear; of these, 2.5 billion lack access to proper care. This project will support the research and development of a coded photorefraction system device on a mobile platform. The goal is to achieve objective self-­diagnosis of myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and select higher-­order aberrations at a fraction of the cost of today's dominant technologies with uncompromised precision and great ease-of-use.The proposed solution captures an image from behind the patient's retina and leverages image-processing techniques to compute the results. The original pattern is projected from a light source and will appear deformed with respect to each patient's individual vision needs. A sensor captures this deformity and translates the matrix into a refractive error measurement and higher-order diagnosis. When this portable hardware add-on is paired with a smartphone application, the anticipated result is personalized vision care that is accessible and affordable to anyone from anywhere at any time. Thebroader impact/commercial potential of this project is to ultimately empower patients and raise eye health awareness. This innovation not only serves as a comprehensive platform for personalized vision care, but also delivers an end-to-end solution with on-demand access to healthcare providers and fulfillment channels. Vision loss carries significant societal stigma and inhibits equal opportunity. Furthermore, higher-­order aberrations are increasingly believed to negatively impact the eye's visual performance (in addition to refractive errors). The global cost of vision loss in 2010 was nearly $3 trillion. However, the origin of this problem does not lie in the hardware supply chain, as eyeglass manufacturers are currently achieving average production costs of $3/unit. Instead, today's diagnostic tools (no matter how optically advanced) are absurdly expensive and cumbersome, require clinical training to operate, and fail to leverage the power of modern-day mobile computing. This project will help to realize a world where patients can curate their own eye care experience (i.e. measure refractive error, diagnose higher-order aberrations, review past test history, connect to eye doctors, and purchase eyewear). In particular, this project will serve as a pivotal step towards accelerating the company's overall commercial endeavor and optimizing market positioning.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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