Revolutionizing Vision Care
John Serri has worn glasses nearly his entire life and has spent an enormous amount of time at check-ups and fittings. Visiting the eye doctor’s office can cause anxiety for some. “I always found all of the big machinery in the eye doctor’s office interesting, but a bit intimidating,” says John Serri, PhD. As someone who has worn eyeglasses from an early age, Serri used to spend an enormous amount of time at the eye doctor’s for check-ups and fittings. One morning while searching for his eyeglasses, as he couldn’t find the time to visit the doctor, he stopped and thought to himself, ‘there has to be an easier way to test my vision and get new glasses’. Not very long after that he met Tibor Laczay, an eye care innovator, and discussed a technology that uses a smartphone to measure refraction error. “We both realized this was a fantastic opportunity that could help millions around the world by combining advanced optical technology with the modern capabilities of smartphones. With that, EyeQue was born.”
Serri has a vision for the at-home vision wellness market and is driving the product direction for EyeQue. To meet such a vision, one of Serri’s main goals is to make all EyeQue employees smarter, more effective, and richer—professionally and financially. Taking a proactive approach in managing his team, Serri believes open, cross-functional, and collaborative communication is the key to achieving their goals. For him, building an organizational culture which actively listens to both potential customers and employees is essential to the success of the company.
The Paradigm Shift
The challenge with introducing novel technologies in health and wellness is addressing regulatory issues while anticipating consumer needs and concerns. That’s why Serri has developed a mantra around making EyeQue’s solutions safe, affordable, accurate, and easy-to-use—reducing or eliminating as many objections as possible. While the power and ubiquity of smartphones provides a platform for digital health applications, many consumers are uneasy with new do-it-yourself methods when they’ve relied on an office visit with large machinery to help them obtain clear vision through corrective glasses. EyeQue’s technology is geared to the consumer market to empower anyone, anywhere, and at any time to take a proactive role in their eye health. “We appeal strongly to the early adopters—those tech-savvy and willing to try things outside the norm. We are also committed to transparency and authenticity and I believe those sentiments are evident from our marketing materials and our packaging, through to our customer support,” says Serri. Taking this approach, he believes, adoption will steadily increase over time.
High resolution screens and advancements in technologies like MIT’s patented Inverse Shack Hartman, which is what makes EyeQue’s refraction error tests possible. This enables new ways for people to gather refractive correction measurements anytime they want, and to personally keep track of their vision changes. This helps consumers to know when their glasses need to be updated. Consumers can use their results to order eyeglasses online, saving time and money. Meanwhile, Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) can provide EyeQue’s at-home vision devices to patients for remote monitoring, for example, post Lasik or cataract surgery to observe changes and progress during recovery. “Telehealth applications like these save both the doctor and the patient time and costs, prioritizing office visits only for those who need to be seen in person.”
Innovation Never Stops
Serri believes in constant innovation. The first product, the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker, was introduced in October of 2016 and earned a CES Best of Innovation award at the International CES show. “To have our vision, our hard work, and our potential recognized by this prestigious body and to top the competitive Fitness, Health and Biotech category—boy, that felt good,” he concludes. The second generation at-home refractometer, VisionCheck, also earned a CES award in November 2018, this time in the Technology for a Better World category—another acknowledgement of the impactful work the company is doing. According to Serri, “Our roadmap is long, our commitment to innovation that brings affordable eye health and wellness solutions to people everywhere is unwavering.”