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Luminopia ranks among best inventions of 2023

This is editorially independent content
4 min read

Luminopia, Inc. lead binocular digital therapy product—Luminopia—has been named as one of the TIME’s Best Innovations of 2023.

To learn more about the technology, Glance President Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO, spoke with Luminopia CEO and Co-Founder Scott Xiao.

Refresh me on this company.

The commercial-stage company was launched out of Harvard University and focuses on pioneering a new class of digital therapeutic treatments for significant neuro-visual disorders.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Luminopia is an innovation partner of Boston Children’s Hospital, with the goal to clinically advance its digital therapeutic platform and co-develop other virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) treatments for medical conditions.

Now talk about the list.

For the past two decades, the annual TIME list has ranked “200 groundbreaking innovations (and 50 special mentions) that are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible.”

Inventions are nominated by TIME editors and correspondents from across the globe based on growing fields of innovation and key factors like originality, efficacy, ambition, and impact.

Gotcha. Now Luminopia.

Luminopia was FDA De Novo-approved in October 2021 as the first binocular amblyopia therapy for the potential improvement of visual acuity (VA) in children aged 4 to 7 associated with anisometropia and/or mild strabismus.

Xiao explains further.

To note, the company recently raised $16M in Series A financing to support the platform’s development.

How does it work?

In lieu of wearing an eye patch, pediatric patients watch therapeutically-modified television shows and movies (one per day, 6 days a week) via a VR headset.

Through a novel dual-action mechanism, the software modifies content in real time and presents it differently for each eye in order to rebalance the input to the brain—effectively teaching patients to use both eyes, together, in a binocular manner.

According to the company, the headset images are projected at optical infinity in a controlled environment (ie: at home).

Gotcha. There’s got to be clinical data on it, right?

Yup there is. Among other trials, a 1:1 randomized, controlled pivotal phase 3 trial found that the platform achieved both primary safety and efficacy end points for the target age group (aged 4 to 7) of amblyopia patients when examined for 12 weeks.

See here for those study details, published in Ophthalmology in September 2021.

And watch below for insight from Xiao.

So which pediatric patients should use this?

The software is designed for pediatric patients who have and have not received amblyopia treatment as an accompaniment to full-time refractive management (ie: glasses and/or contact lenses) .

Per Luminopia, patients with more than 12 months of previous treatment (aside from refraction management) have not been studied with the platform.

Is it currently available?

Yes, but only by prescription. Interested parents of potential pediatric amblyopia candidates are advised to contact their eyecare professional (ECP) to discuss its use as a potential treatment therapy.

To note, the platform is offered as a 30-day (monthly) prescription via the PhilRx pharmacy.

Xiao explains the “simple process” below.

Click here to learn more.

Back to this list … talk about its ranking.

Luminopia was categorized as Medical Care—one of 15 inventions featured for 2023—with the entry titled, Ditching the Eye Patch.

See here for details on the other inventions that made the list this year.