Eye Focus December 2019 - Page 18

EYE FOCUS | FEATURE Program uses gaming to help treat lazy eye By Denis Langlois An eyecare start-up company has developed specialized software that uses therapeutic games and exercises to help treat lazy eye in children and adults. Smart Optometry is planning to launch its home-based vision therapy solution, AmblyoPlay, by year’s end in Canada. “Gamification is our biggest differ- entiator from other programs aimed to address a lazy eye in children,” CEO Žan Menart tells Optical Prism magazine. “Through Smart Optometry’s network of doctors, a common problem com- municated to us from presentation to presentation and from one country to another was that although children could be diagnosed and training could be developed, kids wouldn’t do the traditional vision therapy exercises because they were not fun. With that feedback, we decided to create a solu- tion that addresses the unique needs of children. Through gamification and engaging software, we created an active vision therapy that encourages children to perform vision therapy exercises consistently.” Menart says it’s important to note that AmblyoPlay does not replace the expertise provided by eyecare profes- sionals, which “are essential to any eye diagnosis or vision therapy.” It was developed to complement in- office vision therapy. “Our software serves as another tool to improve visual function of patients and improve their quality of life,” he says. Launching the program in the Cana- dian ECP market is especially impor- tant to the company, he says, because Smart Optometry considers Canada as a country “open to innovation.” AmblyoPlay was designed as a ther- apy solution for people with amblyo- pia, mild strabismus or convergence insufficiency. Smart Optometry says traditional vision therapy exercises used to treat amblyopia are repetitive and time-consuming, which can lead to abandonment of the therapy for a high proportion of patients – espe- cially young children. 18 EYE FOCUS December Digital 2019