MÁLAGA. At some point after the age of 45, everyone will have problems with presbyopia (need for reading glasses) or cataracts. Among the available options to address these vision deficits, multifocal corrections in the form of contact lenses or intraocular lenses have become the chosen alternative for many patients to say goodbye to glasses. However, not all lenses are the same, nor is the tolerance or the acceptance of the patient to the resulting vision after a surgery of this type. Thanks to a visual simulator, the company 2EyesVision allows reducing the uncertainty before the surgery and facilitates the doctor-patient talk.
"Multifocal vision is a new visual experience that is difficult for patients to understand and for doctors to explain," saidlast Friday Carlos Dorronsoro, CEO of the company and one of the inventors of the SimVis technology. The start-up, born as a spin-off of the CSIC Optics Institute, has won the III Open Call for Deep Tech Startups prize during the Transfiere forum held in Málaga.
The simulator developed by 2EyesVision is placed over the head and allows testing different types of multifocal lenses in a few minutes. The patient provides valuable feedback to the ophthalmologist that helps making the best decision in each case. The SimVis technology consists of an opto-tunable, variable, and programmable lens that works very quickly generating images at different focal points. "We have validated it computationally, physically, and clinically," Dorronsoro added. "It is not virtual reality, but see-through. One can say that it's more like binoculars. There is no screen, just a natural view of the real world. We implement very little software and lots of optics."
To date, they have published more than 20 scientific articles on the subject and have registered 4 patents. "It has taken us 10 years, but now the whole sector knows that it works. There is a widespread consensus that is very positive for us." The usefulness is multiplied by being able to use the device in any ophthalmological or optometric test. "This is why clinics are going to acquire it," said Carlos Dorronsoro. "Simulations allow eliminating risks, generate confidence and save money in case of hypothetical complaints or revisits."
Currently, there is no other technology that offers natural and full-color vision through a device of this type. Awarded several times, Dorronsoro admits that they travel "from conference to conference" all over the world. This notable presence has led 2EyesVision - which has already made direct sales in 10 countries of 4 continents - to have a group of early adopters who use their equipment once they have passed all regulatory processes. "Our main markets are Europe and the United States, and we want to start working with distributors."
Carlos Dorronsoro explained that, while they do not play in a huge market (which includes 64,000 ophthalmic surgeons), they are developing new products that will reach all optometry and ophthalmology clinics. For now, they will focus on a group of 800 professionals distributed globally. With seven PhDs on their team, 2EyesVision has a very scientific profile. "We demonstrate that it is possible to have a research career within a company," says its CEO.
The company needs to expand personnel in the areas of business development and sales, which is one of the reasons why they are exploring new financing methods. Endorsed by a medical advisory board that includes some of the most influential ophthalmologists in the world, 2EyesVision has offices in Rochester (New York State) and Madrid, where each technician can manufacture 100 units of the device per year. "We have tried to make the assembly very simple and visual, like IKEA. In less than a month, a technician masters its manufacturing. Therefore, it is a scalable and flexible business, adapted to demand."
Dorronsoro concluded by detailing some of the company's medium-short-term plans. Expand the workforce and develop new products - "something that runs in our blood" - continue international expansion... "We hope to reach break-even in 2025. For that, we must sell 400 units of the device."