Dark adaptation for vision diagnostic platform unveiled

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Heru debuts dark adaptation, the newest modality added to its wearable health and wellness platform’s vision screening line-up.

According to the company, dark adaptation measures the eye’s ability to adjust from light to dark environments. Impaired dark adaptation may be one of the earliest indicators of AMD, which is the leading cause of vision loss and accounts for 8.7% of visual impairment worldwide.1 Early detection of AMD is key to preserving visual function and research indicates that 78% of patients do not seek treatment until it is too late.

In a news release, the company noted that its AMD portfolio leverages contrast sensitivity and dark adaptation, which studies have shown may aid physicians in the detection of AMD-related changes up to three years before drusen are visible, allowing for earlier intervention and management of the disease.

Mohamed Abou Shousha, MD, PhD, CEO, and founder of Heru, noted in the news release that the release of dark adaptation further advances the company’s platform and delivering on its commitment to establish a comprehensive wearable AMD portfolio.

“With this release, Heru can confidently say we are leading the way in vision and now AMD, transforming how clinicians are able to evaluate retinal function,” he said in a statement. “With the introduction of each new vision exam, Heru’s proprietary technology continues to better serve patients by aiding in the detection of several sight-threatening conditions while creating unique revenue streams to support practice growth.” 

Age-related macular degeneration is four times more prevalent than glaucoma2, impacting 1 in 8 adults over the age of 60.3 For patients over 50, performing visual fields, contrast sensitivity, and dark adaptation testing should become a regular part of their annual comprehensive eye exam.

“Multifunctional devices such as Heru’s are the future of vision care,” Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO, founder, North Suburban Vision Consultants, said in the release.

Eiden noted that dark adaptation testing with the Heru platform is something he has been looking forward to adopting in his practice.

“With Heru, we are better equipped to detect dark adaptation impairment which studies have shown to be an early indicator of AMD,” he said in the release. “The fact that the test is an add-on to a device already in our office is a major value point, and we are excited for the additional capabilities to enhance patient care and move the industry forward.”

Compared to legacy devices, Heru’s dark adaptation exam is simple, non-invasive, and takes as little as 4.5 minutes for a rapid exam, or 20 minutes for an extended exam. Dark adaptation is billable to insurance with a national reimbursement average of $58.83 and is co-billable with visual fields, OCT, fundus imaging, and/or office visits. Dark adaptation has multiple supported ICD-10 codes and may generate additional practice revenue from auxiliary testing, plus nutraceutical and optical sales.

“Dark adaptation may enable physicians to monitor AMD progression more effectively at regular intervals and identify fast progressors. More frequent visits and proactive treatment should become the standard of care and may result in improved clinical outcomes and patient compliance,” added Gregory Caldwell, OD, FAAO, co-founder, Johnstown Family Vision. “Heru’s extensive suite of available testing modalities has filled a major gap in vision screening. I am excited to see what the company does next.”

To learn more about Heru’s platform and available testing modalities visit seeheru.com.