Vital Art and Science Incorporated (VAS) is an ophthalmic medical device company which has developed an easy-to-use and accurate home diagnostic system that enables patients with a retinal disease to quickly and efficiently monitor their own vision function at home.
Retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) afflict over 40 million people world-wide. These diseases are characterized by stable periods of disease inactivity with periodic renewal of disease activity during which vision loss occurs. Treatments to minimize vision loss are most effective during these bursts of renewed activity, before vision loss becomes permanent. For this reason frequent and accurate ongoing monitoring is needed for those patients diagnosed with early disease stages.
Current monitoring technologies such as fundus photography, scanning laser ophthalmoscopes or optical coherence tomography, are expensive and time consuming. This equipment is expensive and the tests must be administered by a highly trained technician and then reviewed by an ophthalmologist. It requires a lengthy office visit and the procedural cost is high enough ($100+ per eye for each test) that such office based tests are not a viable option for frequent monitoring of disease progression.
There are a few low cost home-based monitoring products available such as the Amsler Grid. This antiquated paper grid test, although inexpensive, is just not effective, as documented in NIH studies. Patients have a difficult time remembering details from previous tests and cannot accurately assess whether a significant visual change has occurred.