South Florida company hopes to provide accessible eye care for everyone

ByMartha R. Camara

Apr 29, 2022

MIAMI – When you go to a doctor for an eye exam, you normally walk in and prepare for the puff of smoke in your eyes and the number of other tests you’ll have to sit for, but what would happen if there was a way to change this whole process?

The simplicity of “Heru”, a name meant to closely reflect a “hero”, is matched with the company’s protagonist mission.

Armed with a Ph.D. in vision science, years of experience as a practicing ophthalmologist and a goal of global change, Dr. Mohamed Abou Shousha, founder and CEO of Heru, is determined to “democratize eye care” as he puts it.

It starts with acknowledging the barriers many people face in seeking eye care, including a question he and other experts have asked many patients over the years: “What is your biggest fear?” »

“The answer was death or blindness. Many people have said they would rather die than go blind. Unfortunately, we take our vision for granted,” Shousha said.

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What started as an idea about 10 years ago eventually grew out of the famed Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami. Heru uses AI and VR-based technology to simplify and speed up a familiar process.

“Health and wellness diagnostics in a wearable device. You replace all those parts, devices, and workflows with a wearable device that you can put on your head and take the test anytime and anywhere,” Shousha said.

This flexibility, Shousha says, is also much cheaper where normal vision medical equipment can cost six figures, with the devices used by Heru costing a fraction of that.

The headsets, which can be from companies such as meta-based magic jump and plantations, are compatible with Heru’s diagnostic software and are perfect for service.

“Most of us have talked to Siri or Alexa at some point, so why not have the medical device talk to you, give you directions,” Shousha said.

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The way the service works is that you first order the test, then the patient takes the virtual test and finally the results are available in real time.

According to Shousha, the device has biosensors, as well as inward-facing and outward-facing cameras that monitor how you interact with what’s on display, usually as part of a fun exercise.

How a patient interacts with what is displayed will allow an intelligent algorithm to quantify and measure any vision defects they may have.

“With something like Heru, it’s bigger than me or anyone else. It’s really scaling what you can do to help humanity. In every story there is a villain and there is a ‘Heru’ and we are the ‘Herus’ of vision care,” Shousha said.

The device is already in 38 states, with plans to expand to all 50 locations around the world, so be on the lookout for something that already turns out to be more than meets the eye.

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