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Dark Adaptation Technology: From Tabletop to Lightweight Headset

Laura Walter

Our Usability Research Manager, Laura Walter, dives into the process of turning the AdaptDx® tabletop device into the AdaptDx Pro® headset. This change has made dark adaptation testing to help with subclinical AMD detection more comfortable, convenient, efficient, and engaging for both eye care staff and patients.

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The AdaptDx Pro has been just an amazing journey. From the time that our our CEO suggested that we put the the AdaptDx tabletop unit into a headset and we all recovered from the shock of that, it became a race to see what we could do, how fast we could do it, what kind of engineering we could create. I began with MacuLogix officially about seven years ago, but before that there was Greg Jackson’s research assistant at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. We tested over a thousand patients, then we developed our first product. By our bootstraps, we put it together. I knew where every screw went on my days as a technician or a research coordinator. It became a point of pride to give somebody this test effectively and not every patient liked it and it felt personal when they said this test sucks. “I don’t like this.”

The development of the AdaptDx Pro

The development of the AdaptDx Pro really stemmed from what our customers have asked us for what they told us was they didn’t want a helmet. We are testing primarily older adults often adults with some disabilities: shoulder, neck, back problems, and these patients who were thrilled to have something like this. As part of the product development team, it was important to make this easy to use easy to put on and comfortable to wear. As you can see it’s on, we’re ready to go, and I have my own personal darkroom. The headset which involves some weight on your head was much more easily accepted by many of these older adults. They weren’t put off by it at all. They loved the design of it. They loved the way that they could wear it for a long time which really surprised me. Patients who might be a little claustrophobic in a dark room with a stranger felt perfectly comfortable sitting in a chair with a headset on their head.

Automated technician – Theia

We wondered if the automated technician would be too much and surprisingly they loved it. Theia has been an evolution and a really exciting one. Initially, because I had done so much testing I thought Theia should be me and was pleasantly surprised to hear the voices when we interviewed voice actresses for Theia, thinking these are great, these are fantastic, these are people I want to listen to. “Hello! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Theia and I will be guiding you through today’s test.” It’s been a journey of teaching Theia what to say so she’ll tell the patient every single time how to do something and when to do it based on how they’re taking the test so it feels like artificial intelligence and it’s ongoing.

MacuLogix is looking to the future

We’re constantly thinking about what to do next. What are we going to change? How are we going to make Theia smarter and faster and better? The AdaptDx Pro is going to change the future of eye care. With the tabletop device, we can test one patient at a time in a really good office we can test a couple hundred a month if a really good office has a number of these. Exponentially we’re going to test millions of patients we’re going to save the sight of millions of people.