Kubota Glasses Technology

Wearable Device for Myopia Control

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a refractive vision disorder which causes blurred sight at a distance. It occurs when the length of the eye (known as axial length) is too great; myopia progresses as axial length increases with age, until the early 20s. Myopia currently affects 2.56 billion people worldwide and is projected to affect 3.4 billion people by 2030, if current trends remain unchanged(*1). Myopia increases the risk of developing sight-threatening diseases such as myopic maculopathy, retinal detachment, and glaucoma - making a measurable impact on society(*2). Today, children in East Asia (including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore) develop myopia at a high rate; for example, 96.5% of 19-year-old males suffer from myopia in Seoul(*3). Myopia also affects over 40% of individuals over the age of 12 years in the U.S.(*4)

*1 Report of the Joint World Health Organization-Brien Holden Vision Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The impact of myopia and high myopia. 16-18 March 2015.https://www.who.int/blindness/causes/MyopiaReportforWeb.pdf
*2 Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012 Nov;31(6):622-60
*3 Dolin E. The myopia boom. Nature 2015 Mar 19;519(7543):276-8
*4 Prevalence. International Myopia Institute. https://www.myopiainstitute.org/prevalence.html Accessed May 15, 2020.

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Kubota Glasses technology works to reduce the progressive increase in axial length associated with myopia by projecting myopically-defocused virtual images generated using micro-LEDS on the peripheral visual field to actively stimulate the retina. Using this method, a clinical study utilizing a tabletop device demonstrated that axial length decreases in the test eye compared to the control eye as the stimulus is applied. Passive stimulation using myopic defocus is already in use in an FDA-approved contact lens. Kubota Glasses technology leverages nanotechnology in its electronic glasses-based device and seeks to reduce the progression of myopia by actively stimulating the retina for shorter periods while maintaining central vision and not affecting daily activities. The company is planning to submit the full data for scientific publication.

Kubota Vision monitored the effect of the application of a myopically-defocused stimulus on the retina on axial length in 12 subjects of aged 21 to 32 years (7 Asian, 4 White, and 1 Hispanic subjects; 9 males and 3 females) with spherical refractive error of -3.5D〜0.0D. Results of this clinical study demonstrated that axial length decreases with the application of projected myopically-defocused images in the test eye compared to the control eye, which has not been reported in the literature. Kubota Vision is planning to use the Kubota Glasses technology to develop smart glasses and smart contact lenses for the reduction of myopia progression. A clinical study with a prototype design of the smart glasses is scheduled to be completed in the latter half of 2020, and a wearable prototype is expected to be available by December 2020. The development plan for a smart contact lens with Kubota Glasses technology will be disclosed as the project progresses. The company envisions applications of Kubota Glasses technology in augmented reality (AR) devices and virtual reality (VR) devices to protect children's vision through myopia treatment.