Optishield is a low vision aid for patients and offers a hands-free alternative for optometrists.
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A current front-line practice within the NHS for patients suffering with temporary or intermittent diplopia (double vision) is to apply frosted tape to the patient’s spectacle’s lens. The frosted Optishield offers a flexible alternative where temporary partial occlusion for a clinically prescribed period has been recommended by an eye care specialist.
In collaboration with the Universities of Keele and Wolverhampton, DHC developed Optishield, a brand new, first of its kind product. Optishield is a flexible optical occluder made from soft silicone. As well as a low vision aid for patients, it offers a hands-free alternative for optometrists when testing visual acuity. It is reusable, easy to clean and eliminates the need for eye-patches currently available that use metal clips, elastic ties and adhesive fabrics.
The Optishield has been designed with an easy on/off fit, making it suitable for short term tasks such as reading, watching television or using a computer.
One of the developers of Optishield has a condition called Diplopia (double vision) and found the eye-patches currently available to them can cause problems such as scratched spectacle lenses, pressure on the eye area, poor air circulation and hygiene, as well as the ongoing costs of disposable patches.
Optishield was developed from this personal experience, and went through a number of design processes, including CAD and 3D printing. Aston University’s School of Optometry and the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) assisted with a usability study, the results found a very high level of acceptance among optometrists. The study identified a 100% completion success rate, with the highly experienced participants perceiving the device as a helpful aid to enable hand-free working, resulting in a direct positive impact on their usual clinical practice.
Knowing that the Optishield is sitting securely in the right place gives the optometrist the confidence to concentrate on the test taking place instead of the positioning of the occluder. This results in an examination that is more comfortable for both clinician and patient. This becomes particularly valuable when testing young patients who are more mobile. The frosted Optishield is also ideally suited to testing paediatric patients who may become concerned when occluded with black paddles.
The MD-TEC study went brilliantly. We were extremely impressed with the professional standard to which the study was carried out. The team were excellent and they recruited a wide spectrum of users including some very senior clinicians. As a result of the support and usability study, our engagement with WMAHSN and the Industry Gateway MedlinkWM has given us the confidence to move forward with the Optishield, entering new markets.
Donald Harrison, CEO, DHC Innovations Ltd
Impact & Outcomes
The Medical Devices Technical Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) based at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust undertook a formative usability study of the Optishield product and found a very high level of acceptance among optometrists. The study identified a 100% completion success rate, with the highly experienced participants perceiving the device as a helpful aid to enable hand-free working, resulting in a direct positive impact on their usual clinical practice.
Having been evaluated in a clinical setting, experienced optometrists have described the Optishield as a simple and clever concept that they are happy to integrate into their practice and are ready to adopt for visual testing. Patients have also found the device to be a good idea compared to alternatives (MD-TEC report). This has been backed by strong sales at the product launch of this UK manufactured innovation.