By Nancy Dahlberg
A med-tech spinout of the University of Miami’s renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is building a next-generation AI-powered platform for vision diagnostics and augmentation. Heru has developed patented software for the top commercially available AR/VR head-mounted displays, including Magic Leap’s.
This week, Heru announced it had raised $2.7 million in seed funding. The funding was led by Maurice R. Ferre of Miami, along with Frederic H. Moll and other investors with extensive experience scaling medical technologies. The funding, raised this summer, will help facilitate the completion of clinical trials for FDA clearance of Heru’s wearable AI platform and subsequent commercialization efforts.
Heru’s platform is the only solution that can autonomously diagnose vision defects and customize individual vision augmentation based on the user’s unique vision defects, the company said in a press release. With Heru’s cloud-powered infrastructure, there is no need for dedicated exam rooms; technicians and patients alike can do tests in any setting – in the clinic, pharmacy, or at home.
“As a cloud-based software technology, Heru’s applications can reach care providers instantly, in all settings,” says Ferre, who is the CEO and chairman of Insightec, an investor in Dermasensor and co-founded Mako Surgical. “Now more than ever, it is important that we leverage best-in-class technology to help patients diagnose and manage their vision health.”
The need is huge: More than 50 million patients in the U.S. and 450 million worldwide experience visual field defects and strabismus from glaucoma, strokes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetes, and retinitis pigmentosa. Heru’s platform aims to enable exponential access for critical eye health diagnostics, screenings, and visual augmentation for these patients, the company said.
Heru was founded in 2018 and is led by Dr. Mohamed Abou Shousha, a UM associate professor and director of Bascom Palmer’s AI and Computer Augmented Vision Lab. The technology has been licensed exclusively to Heru by the University of Miami.
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