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Business & Profession Business and Innovation, Retina, Cornea / Ocular Surface

Delaying Degeneration

sponsored by Okuvision

Despite being the most common inherited retinal dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa (RP) suffers a dearth of effective treatments. Noticing this gap in clinical care, Okuvision developed OkuStim therapy – a system that allows patients to take charge of their own condition from the comfort of their homes. 

The OkuStim system uses transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) to exert a neuroprotective effect on photoreceptors, which slows down degeneration and subsequent progressive loss of the visual field. Boasting an excellent safety profile, TES can treat RP without the common side effects found in pharmaceutical products, while ensuring that the retina is not affected by invasive interventions. 

Although OkuStim therapy is encouraged at every disease state, there is a strong rationale for starting the application as soon as possible after diagnosis. At this early stage, the central retina is largely intact, meaning that there is a better chance of preserving the largest possible visual field area. 

Reducing burden

Associated with reduced mobility, financial burden, and reduced autonomy, the psychological impact of RP can adversely amplify disease development. OkuStim alleviates these challenges by providing patients with a non-invasive, at-home therapy that only requires 30 mins once per week. And because patients don’t need to travel to outpatient care, the burden on specialist care clinics and general practitioners is also relieved. Self-management of RP can also reduce the total costs attributable to IRD that in 2019 amounted to an estimated £523.3 million in the UK (1). 

Comfortable and cost-effective, the innovative OkuStim system is easy to adopt for both ophthalmologists and patients. Equally important, it addresses a patient pathway that currently offers no treatment options for early-to-late stage RP (nor other generalized retinal dystrophies, such as choroideremia and cone-rod dystrophy). 

OkuStim is a CE-marked medical device and available today in a growing number of European countries. Looking to the future, Okuvision plans to continue providing state-of-the-art treatment options for people with degenerative retinal diseases, and making these more widely available. Drawing from new scientific findings, Okuvision values high-quality communication with patients, opticians, and ophthalmologists and continues to shape its products with patient feedback in mind.

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  1. O Galvin et al., “The Impact of Inherited Retinal Diseases in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and the United Kingdom (UK) from a Cost-of-Illness Perspective,” Clin Ophthalmol, 14, 707 (2020). PMID: 32184557.
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