November 2015
Fight Back Today with Low Vision Technologies!
  Delivering Eye Medication without Shots
A Look Into The Future

In Australia, scientists are developing a new technique for delivering medicine to those afflicted with macular degeneration. Standard treatment involves ten shots per year, with the injections delivered directly into the eye. Although this treatment is effective in helping to defer blindness caused by macular degeneration, each shot is invasive, comes with risks, and requires up to a day of recovery time. The new technique, developed by scientists at the Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science in Melbourne, instead delivers medicine via a tiny, sponge-like device. 

This miniature sponge is injected with multiple doses of the anti-macular degeneration medicine and implanted directly into the eye. From there, the device can deliver medicine directly into the eye's macula, which is the area responsible for fine vision skills such as reading and facial recognition. Each light-sensitive sponge is covered with miniscule pores that open and close in response to pulses of infrared light, delivering medication every six weeks on an ophthalmologist's command. The device has undergone laboratory testing and will now move to testing in the clinical phase, but it could be on the market within years. In the meantime, the researchers are hoping to apply the same technology to other conditions, developing ideas such as an enzyme-activated sponge that can help fight tumors.  

 New Content Pages on the Low Vision Website

In addition to selling adaptive products, Low Vision Technologies is dedicated to bringing you valuable, in-depth information and news about eye care advancements and technology. Our updates and web pages provide information about everything from the drug therapies that are currently under development to the latest low vision smartphone applications. This month, I have two new content pages to showcase:

  • Struggling with Vision Loss: For seniors coping with progressive vision loss or a recent eye disease diagnosis, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone. However, this web page is full of information and resources to help you stay positive and maintain an independent, active lifestyle. For starters, adaptive products and technologies can help make everyday activities easier, and new ones are continually being developed. In addition, there are numerous programs and organizations that provide support and assistance for those with low vision. Visit this page to learn more about adapting to everyday life with vision loss.

  • Navigating Our Cities: New technologies are making it easier than ever for those of us with vision loss to travel. Traveling to an unfamiliar location is no longer a nearly impossible feat thanks to GPS- and Bluetooth-enabled devices. There are adaptive tools, smart canes, and smartphone applications that give directions, provide store information, and much more. Plus, many big cities are beginning to consider how they can improve their infrastructure to support those with vision difficulties. These advancements include connecting some crosswalks, sensors, and city information systems with smartphone applications and devices to help us travel independently. This web page demonstrates how technology is leading the way for many positive changes.
Is the first commercial gene therapy product within sight?

  Highly anticipated phase III clinical trial results of Spark Therapeutics's gene therapy to treat visual impairment are due by year-end and could have profound implications for the broader gene therapy field, leading to the first approved product in the U.S. A detailed analysis of the design and use of SPK-RPE65 to treat Leber congenital amaurosis type 2 (LCA2), the possibility of expanding its use to other patient populations, and the anticipated impact of a first commercial gene therapy product is explored in Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development website until November 15, 2015.
Joshua Schimmer and Steven Breazzano, Piper Jaffrey & Co., New York, NY, predict the likelihood that the SPK-RPE65 phase III data will meet the primary goal of improving patients' ability to see and function at night or in dimmer light levels. Secondary endpoints include enhanced visual acuity and peripheral field light sensitivity or an effect on the underlying degenerative process.

In the article "Investor Outlook: Focus on Upcoming LCA2 Gene Therapy Phase III Results," * the authors examine the science supporting a gene therapy approach to treating LCA2 in which an adeno-associated viral vector delivers the RPE65 gene (which is mutated in LCA2) to the eye via subretinal injection. At least 10 other biotechnology companies have gene therapy products in development targeting retinal diseases.
Nutrient Density Index Foods in Order of Highest to Lowest
Visionary Kitchen Brings Us Another Great Recipe
              Chocolate Dipped Fruit




4 oz. unsweetened Chocolate          1 tbsp cacao nibs


2 tbsp coconut oil                              20 strawberries


5 tbsp maple syrup                             20 raspberries

grad B


3 tbsp unsweetened soy milk            4  bananas  cut into        


                                                              bite size chunks

2 tsp instant coffee granules 


1 tbsp agave nectar


1/4 tsp vanilla extract


1/8 tsp sea salt



1.  In a heat safe bowl, microwave chocolate and coconut oil on high in 30 second intervals .  Stir and repeat until completely melted.  Set aside.


2.  Combine maple syrup and soy milk.  Microwave on high until very hot.  Stir in coffee to dissolve.  then the agave, vanilla and salt.


3.  Whisk the melted chocolate into the coffee mixture until smooth and shine.


4.  Transfer into a serving bowl sprinkle with cacao nibs, and serve with fresh fruit.  such as strawberries, raspberries and bananas.  







 Lycopene: 2342,mcg,  
 Lutein + Zeaxanthin: 198mcg
 Omega 3 : 55mcg 





courtesy of Sandra Young, OD

author: Visionary Kitchen: A Cookbook for Eye HealthBooks are available for purchase at and 




Open Mobility Manifesto
i am including this piece so we can all learn the challenges facing our community and some of the steps that need to be taken to bring us into the future along with the growth of our  city's 

What does it take to change the urban environment to provide the necessary infrastructure for an open navigation system for blind and visually impaired?
We are proposing an open & modular hardware/software ecosystem to tailor for the wide range of navigational challenges and use-cases that the visually impaired may experience while independently exploring unfamiliar places.
The good news is that the blind and visually impaired are already using a wide range of navigational systems. Specifically, the iPhone with its voiceover accessibility features in combination with apps like BlindSquare and MyWay provide a well working solution to receiving information like current position and points of interest close by.

There are bigger challenges to solve along the way. Turn-by-turn routing is already being used for this context but it is still not tailored to the needs of the blind and visually impaired. Indoor navigation is another open topic, for which there are promising research-projects with beacons currently in development. In many cities around the world, public transport information systems are mostly accessible for the blind and visually impaired, but these are in often very specific and localized solutions that differ from city to city and country to country. GPS is still too unreliable when it comes to the exact positioning (it makes a big difference if you stand on the side-walk or on the street) and more precise systems like Galileo are still a long way away to being available.

Open vs. Smart City
The term "smart city" is heavily promoted by city authorities and the big IT-companies around the world. It paints a picture of a future where our cities are connected through technology that will be omnipresent in every step of urban life - most likely built and maintained by big corporates and where the access is controlled exclusively by the city authorities. This development towards the "smart city" holds a big opportunity for an open infrastructure. Navigational systems for the blind and visually impaired could build upon all these connected sensors and information systems. The big question remains if the access to this future infrastructure will be opened up in a way that an open ecosystem for navigational needs could rise from it.

Our approach
We are focusing on tangible interface solutions for the blind and visually impaired to connect and interact with the city environment using the smartphone's capabilities for a wide range of navigational needs. In parallel we want to kickstart an open discussion about the city infrastructure of tomorrow to have an realistic chance that our interface can act unrestricted within that.

Our constraints
  • Use applied technology which is widely available
  • Use low-cost and open technology where possible
  • Make it easy to fix, adapt and plug into existing services.
Our key questions
  • How do we create an open navigation system for the blind and visually impaired that is self-reliant and sustainable without being dependent on funding to continue development? 
  • How do we get people with the right skills and knowledge to be involved?
  • How can we promote standards for an open urban infrastructure, where haptic and audio based interfaces can seamlessly interact with software applications (e.g. smartphone apps and APIs) and hardware elements (beacons, GPS, public transport systems)?
  • What is needed to actually manufacture a new generations of interfaces while keeping it economically worthwhile and viable for all stakeholders?


A revolutionary project that lets people help to solve your problems.  Something as easy as knowing the color of a shirt, what's in a product, even the price tag.  It's available on IOS Â in our  app store and is FREE!   watch this video to understand what it can do for you. Please sign up to help, if you are not available at the time of the request, it's ok, someone else will step in to help.  I can't think of a worthier cause.

Have You Considered What Apps Can Help You Do?

Audio books, note takers, eye training exercises, talking readers, and more: did you know there is an app for almost anything you need? Low Vision Apps include these and more, such as navigation tools, money readers, and magnifiers. You can also find label and barcode readers, which are ideal for use at home, in stores, and just about anywhere.


The Apple app store is easy to use, and everything you choose is available for immediate download. See how apps can change your life!


Low Vision Applications

Magnify Glass 32xis a magnifier that helps you read and see applications on your phone better. You can also use the magnifier when you go to the store and need to read a label or view the price on something.  


Low vision applications come in handy and will provide you with the extra vision that you need to easily be able to see the important things.

Get Your Life Back Today
Start feeling better about yourself and using devices and programs to help you see better. You will feel more confident and you will be able to be more independent. Being able to rely on yourself once again is a huge feat and accomplishing daily activities is one step in the right direction.


Richard Slinde

low vision technologies | | | 2200 patriot blvd. unit 123
Glenview, IL 60026