Objective Acuity sharpens focus on 5G with Spark award win

Objective Acuity, a UniServices spin-out, is one of four winning businesses in Spark New Zealand’s 5G Starter Fund competition.

Child wearing glasses

“Winning is enormous for us. It will allow us to build a solution using 5G, with the potential to both improve on our vision tests for children as well as open up more possibilities for access,” says Objective Acuity Chief Executive Adam Podmore.

Objective Acuity is commercialising unique technology, developed by Dr Ben Thompson, an Associate Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Auckland, and Dr Jason Turuwhenua and Dr Mehrdad Sangi at the University of Auckland’s ӰAPPBioengineering Institute (ABI). The technology is proven to more accurately detect vision problems in young children than traditional screening methods such as eye charts.

The vision test uses software on an iPad to display a proprietary moving pattern and induce optokinetic nystagmus (OKN), an involuntary reflex movement of the eye, which is captured and interpreted through the iPad Pro camera.

“Early and accurate detection of vision problems in young children has long been a challenge, and yet it is hugely important. If issues are missed early in life, it can reduce educational achievement and potentially lead to lifelong deteriorating vision,” says Mr Podmore.

Mr Podmore says the potential for positive health outcomes from Objective Acuity’s technology is strong because it provides an objective measure for how well a child is seeing, that does not require the child to give a response to the tester. This results in a testing mechanism that is simple for a child to complete.

UniServices Commercialisation Director Evelyn Body says: “It's fantastic to see Objective Acuity’s efforts being recognised because it is amazing technology with the potential to really help resolve sight issues for so many kids in New Zealand and all over the world.

“We congratulate them on this success and look forward to seeing how they build on this opportunity using 5G to show what is possible for health diagnostic tools of the future."

The Spark win comes at an exciting time for Objective Acuity. Having just begun a clinical study at The Retina Foundation of the Southwest in Dallas, Texas, the company has a Q4 2021 market launch in its sights.

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