How the Legally Blind Can Achieve Enhanced Vision

Podcast, Videos


Roland Mattern, Director of Product Marketing at eSight Eyewear, sat down with me in this episode of Healthcare Goes Digital. Among many other things, he shared how eSight’s technologies are being used to bring sight back to people living with central vision loss, key learnings from his 30-year career in the pharma and medical device sectors, and his predictions and hopes for the future of ‘smart eyewear.’

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: Is this a similar thing to, for example, an iPhone, as you create new models, do people sort of step up and pay for the latest model? Is this also like a Tesla? Is it going to be automated or connected virtually so that new software can be downloaded? Tell us a little bit about how that would work.

A: That’s a great question. It is Wi-Fi compatible. There are a couple of things we can do with that. We can certainly do software upgrades and we have increased the longevity of the product, but like any technology, there’s a lifespan. We have had many of our early customers upgrade to the current product because it’s more comfortable. It has better monitors, a better camera, easier-to-navigate software, it’s more comfortable, all those things. They see the value and depending on where they are and how old the product is, we try to work with them as well to give them some traded value. That would be the case for future generations of eSight products as well.

With respect to learning and using technology to improve, we can pull data from units. One of the projects for future products is that you use machine learning/artificial intelligence to have the product monitor how the person is using it and then automatically go from there. That’s a future-generation type project. Currently, we also use the connectivity to help our users. It hasn’t come up yet, but when you decide to become a user of eSight and purchase an eSight, you’re actually assigned a coach. You’ll have a personal coach, and it comes with five hours of coaching time. Most people use probably about three of them typically to learn the product, but they caught in time and get some help.

All those coaches are also users, so they have a visual impairment or one of the diseases that we help with when it comes to sudden vision loss. They’re not only experts on product use, but they can relate to the person on the other side. They understand what they’re going through and how to best approach it to help them. If need be, those coaches can get into their device remotely, so they can help them with settings and navigate the menus, much like how the IT Department can get into your computer when you need help and do diagnostics. We can do the same thing remotely.

You can also, through our remote connectivity, if you’re having trouble, and your sister lives across town, you can give her access to see what you’re seeing. So now she can help you. You have that infrastructure. There are lots of things around the user from a connectivity perspective that makes it user-friendly, upgradeable, and if you’re having trouble, to get support instantaneously. That’s how we’re using the technology at this point.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Roland Mattern, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.