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According to the Brien Holden Vision Institute, over 60 percent of people worldwide are suffering from serious eye problems. Smart Vision Labs, a New York-based startup, is aiming to dramatically lower that figure with the release of the revolutionary SVOne.

“When you go to someone’s office and test their eye, that’s amazing and they can see the results. But then what do you do? We need to open access,” said Marc Albanese, Smart Vision’s cofounder and COO.

The SVOne

The SVOne (FDA Class 1 exempt device) is a medical tool that can be used to perform general eye examinations using a smartphone. Similar equipment with nearly identical features cost roughly $40,000. The one Smart Vision Labs is offering is priced at $4,000 and comes with an unlocked Apple iPhone 5s.

Using wavefront aberrometry, doctors are able to conduct a thorough checkup quickly, without any unnecessary steps. During the scanning process, the device takes several high-quality photos of the eye and measures for refractive errors. Afterwards, an app that comes with the SVOne generates the results instantly. Professionals can then proceed to provide medical advice for the patient.

SVOne close-up shot

Why This Game-changing Technology Matters

Traditional eye exams are expensive and are usually administered in a clinic or hospital. For developing countries, both factors are major roadblocks for eye treatment. The SVOne addresses these issues by providing a fully mobile solution for the assessment and diagnosis phase of an exam.

“This is a product that is solving a lot of problems for everyone. That really had a lot of appeal to us,” highlighted Zhou Yaopeng, former photonics researcher and company cofounder.

When used to its full potential, the medical tool allows professionals to go to patients directly, instead of being limited to an inaccessible facility. This could be extremely helpful for the elderly and immobile individuals.

Doctors may also choose to setup rural mission trips or weekend eye exam booths without being weighed down by bulky equipment. The device boasts an average battery life of 200 hours and fits inside most portable bags. There are no age limitations with the SVOne, which means children with short attention spans can still receive accurate readings (the whole process takes about five seconds per eye).

Smart Vision Labs eye care exam

Series A Funding Round Attracts Top-level Investors

The promising device has caught the attention of several notable tech investors in the field. During a recent Series A, the company raised $6.1 million. Techstars Ventures led the funding round and has been awarded with a seat on the board of directors.

“The SVOne represents a breakthrough in vision technology that will open new doors for eye care professionals and has the potential to positively impact vision health on a worldwide basis. We are thrilled to be leading the Series A investment and joining the team at SVL,” said Ari Newman, a partner at Techstars Ventures.

Heritage Group, Connectivity Capital, and Red Sea Ventures also participated in the financing campaign. Zhou confirmed that the newly acquired funds will be used to scale operations and provide support for the engineering team.

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