Vizzario develops vision care tools utilizing eye-tracking technology, vision analytics platform.
VSP Global has invested $2 million into Vizzario Inc., a California-based startup that develops eyecare technologies to track visual acuity, eye strain, traumatic brain injury and sports vision performance.
Vizzario operates as a sensory data exchange platform. That platform allows for value creation around data generated from technologies, including smart devices, wearables, eye-tracking tools, electroencephalogram (EEG) systems, virtual reality and augmented reality via head-mounted displays. Vizzario then utilizes advancements in machine learning, computer vision and deep learning techniques to help monitor and predict health outcomes through the analysis of an individual’s data.
Both companies expect to have a consumer-facing offering ready to unveil later in the year. Also, VSP Global will entertain the option for an additional $1 million investment with Vizzario in June. As part of the partnership agreement, VSP Optics Group President Don Oakley has also been appointed to Vizzario’s board of directors.
In a release announcing the investment, VSP Global said the partnership was fostered through an ongoing relationship with VSP Global’s innovation lab, The Shop, and joins a number of technology-driven alignments the lab has developed with academic institutions such as the University of Southern California’s Center for Body Computing.
“New technologies and product offerings are poised to create unprecedented opportunities to expand access to eye care services. Our partnership with Vizzario captures that spirit and will explore new pathways to fuse their technology with our research efforts,” says VSP Global CEO Jim McGrann.
Founded in 2014, Vizzario is led by CEO Dr. Khizer Khaderi, who established the Sports Vision Lab at the University of California-Davis and formerly served as the director of neuro-ophthalmology at the UC Davis Eye Center.
Sample applications include the ability to track the effects of digital eye strain over a period of time, or to screen for traumatic brain injury in contact sports such as football by measuring key areas of the eye-brain connection.
“We’re excited to partner with VSP Global and explore a number of meaningful pathways to bring Vizzario’s technology to life,” says Dr. Khaderi. “Vizzario is rooted in vision, but the platform is capable of taking in a number of other data sets that can start to enrich the understanding of a person’s lifestyle and habits.”
Research and development is underway inside The Shop to leverage the Vizzario technology through a number of applications. Early areas of interest include synching with EEG bands to track eye movement against electrodes in the brain as well as game-based applications designed to create vision benchmarks and, ultimately, help improve visual acuity over time.
“What we’re building here is the foundation of Contextual Health, which for VSP Global starts to fulfill a broader interest in enriching and personalizing traditional medical records with context from daily living,” says McGrann.