How we started….
My name is Karl Obszanski and I was fortunate to study dry eye diagnosis techniques at Aston University under the supervision of Prof. James Wolffsohn. During my PhD, I looked into existing methods and instrumentation that are used to define this difficult condition. How well they work, why do they cost so much and what is it that the doctors actually want in an instrument solution? Though this research I was able to devise a new method for evaluation of tear film breakup time and anterior eye evaluation which I really think can help many people that currently don’t have access to the typically expensive equipment used today.
I completed my PhD in the summer of 2019 and setup a spin out company- Aston Vision Sciences Ltd. to develop my original ideas into a real-world medical device. We are a team of 4 working on developing a low cost, portable instrument for the early diagnosis of eye diseases and therefore the increased potential of successful treatment. The initial incarnation of the instrument will focus of the early detection of dry eye but this will then be expanded through software modules to a whole host of potential eye problems with the aim of providing clinicians with objective measurements for the correct prescription of tailored treatments that have the greatest chance of efficacy. Current dry eye diagnosis methods tend to be subjective and show low repeatability. Costs are also high for what is offered and this means waiting lists for patients to be assessed. The new, unique and patented measurement method that is non- contact, non- invasive and allows for both static and mobile methods of operation. The current working prototype is small and portable which is very attractive to the health institutions as floor/ desk space is always an issue. Future machine learning software will be refined and intuitive which will mean a low training requirement and open the opportunity for medical assistants rather than doctors to make the assessment in flexible environments (not only hospitals/ clinics), but domiciliary care and rural population access. This frees up valuable doctor time and reduces workload on the overstretched resources while providing a giant leap forward in the diagnosis accuracy and precision medicine based of algorithm recommendations.