The traditional eyes chart wallpaper is now getting an update, and a newcomer, Heru hoping to make vision tests a virtual real-world.
Using commercially available headsets, the Company is developing an artificial-intelligence-powered diagnostic to help examine a person for any losses in their visual field, such as from glaucoma or following a stroke, or for double vision and other eye conditions.
Heru launch virtual reality for eye exams and treatments
Now, the spinout of the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has secured $30 million to start its initiatives, with an A series of fundraising spearheaded by D1 Capital Partners plus backing by SoftBank Ventures Opportunity Fund and Krillion Ventures.
This round was also led by robot surgery entrepreneurs Frederic Moll, cofounder of Intuitive Surgical and Auris Health, and Maurice Ferre, chairman of Mako Surgical, Memic Innovative Surgery and Insightec as Heru itself.
“As Heru is a company that was founded in the vibrant tech industry in Miami, It’s thrilling to observe how Heru is working to tackle an industry that’s remained mostly unaltered for years, despite huge technological advances in the field of medicine overall,” said Ferre, who also took part in the $2.7 million first seed round in December.
Heru’s first intention is to provide an advanced test of vision that can be performed in almost any place. It uses an earpiece that tracks the interactions of a patient with different factors and offers eye care providers the option of paying per use.
In the future, it plans to expand into augmented reality applications that use software to customize vision correction using cameras available on the shelf, like Magic Leap and Microsoft’s Hololens. Magic Leap and Microsoft’s Hololens to fill in the gaps in the field of vision.
Other companies, including those of the French developer Pixium Vision, are also taking the implant route to help compensate for the loss of vision. A miniature camera attached to glasses transmits information to a tiny chip implanted at the retina’s back, replicating the electrical signals sent by the optic nerve.
Pixium has recently placed the first of its patients in an important clinical trial for dry age-related macular deterioration, also known as AMD, in which people gradually lose their central vision.