Retina Health Center awarded patents for eye drop imaging technology to monitor patient eye drop technique and compliance

Dr. Alexander Eaton

Retina Health Center has been issued design patents for a new eye drop imaging device developed by Eaton and his colleagues at Retina Health Center. The patents, No. D750773 and No. D751702 and were awarded on March 1 and 15 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The utility patents on the device are still pending.

Understanding patient ability to properly instill their eye drops and comply with a prescribed regiment at home is critical in helping eye doctors select the right treatment option for a patient.  Until recently, getting accurate data on patients’ at-home drop installation has not been possible.   Indirect measures of eye drop use have been used such as weighting the bottle to determine how many drops were used or electronic monitoring systems that can determine if the bottle was picked up or inverted, but existing systems have not been able to determine if the drop(s) actually got into the eye.  A patient can think they are complying but if they forget to take the top off the drop bottle, or they miss their eye and the drop lands on their lid or face, they may not be receiving the benefit of the medication they have been prescribed. To monitor patients’ eye drop technique and compliance, Retina Health Center physicians developed a new compact imaging device to allow physicians to monitor patient eye drop use at home, as well as during patient visits at Retina Health Center offices.

Using the newly developed imaging system created by Retina Health Center, the physicians have launched the first-ever at-home studies to evaluate the drop delivery and compliance of patients at home.  Prior to use at home, patients were trained on the use of the device in the clinic and then completed the in-clinic portion of the studyEye Drop Imaging Device-2.

A collaborative study between Retina Health Center and the Konowal Vision Center followed 37 post-surgical cataract patients in the clinic phase and 38 cataract surgical patients participated in the home study.  Following the videotaping, researchers compared the actual video to the patients’ reporting of the number of drops applied and how many drops landed in the eye.  Patients were found to consistently underestimate the number of drops they applied while trying to get a drop in their eye, and overestimated the number of drops that actually landed in their eye.

Retina Health Center also evaluated the number of patients that can properly apply a drop, which is to deliver one drop per application without the tip coming in contact with the eye lashes, the eye itself or the skin. Nearly 90 percent of patients were not able to properly deliver the eye drops at least once during the clinic phase. In the at-home phase, none of the subjects were able to perform proper drop applications for every attempt during their regimen.

“The results show that there is great opportunity to improve drop delivery with the direct feedback patients can get from our easy-to-use device,” said Eaton. “This pilot study has confirmed previous reports of difficulties that patients experience when administering eye drops, and has further shown that thePatent imaging device can provide a unique insight for physicians and patients alike. During drop administration, patients often blink and the drops may land on the lid and/or the conjunctiva, all of which happened quickly, making it very difficult to determine what exactly happened by the patient. Our study shows that the imaging system can provide physicians with an objective measurement of when and how many drops are getting into the patient’s eye. We are hoping that the imaging system will help physicians tailor therapeutic decisions more accurately for each patient and can help researchers evaluate new drop therapies. We are optimistic that much the way athletes view videos of themselves to improve their game, that patients, physicians and physicians’ staff will be able to use the videos to improve their drop technique and that this will result in better outcomes and less waste for people throughout the world.”

An Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved study is currently under way to evaluate if the system can be used to improve drop delivery in patients that have difficulties with drop installation and compliance.  In addition to helping patients, physicians and their staff, the device may help manufacturers improve their understanding of how the eye drop bottle shape and tip shape can affect a patient’s drop delivery and compliance, and can help them determine if medications they are evaluating Eye Drop Imaging Device-3for FDA approval are being used at the proper time and are actually properly getting into the patient’s eye.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration, and has invented numerous medical devices for use by patients and physicians that are used worldwide. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

Retina Health Center invites public to free symposium Jan. 23 on macular degeneration

RHC Logo

Retina Health Center and the Foundation Fighting Blindness will host the 13th annual Southwest Florida Macular Degeneration Symposium on Saturday,  Jan. 23. The symposium will feature world-renowned experts providing the latest information on treatment options and new discoveries. Attendees will learn about groundbreaking new treatment options for both dry and wet macular degeneration.

This free, three-hour presentation will be given twice on Jan. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, 5001 Coconut Rd. in Bonita Springs. To reserve a seat, attendees must register in advance by calling 800-586-6765.

Dr. Charles Johnson, Chief Medical Officer of Neurotech, will be this year’s guest speaker. Dr. Johnson is an accomplished physician and pharmaceutical executive with more than four decades of experience in clinical practice and the biotech sector. Dr. Johnson was most recently the Vice President of Global Medical Affairs at Vertex. Prior to this, he held leadership positions at Inspire Pharmaceuticals and APT Pharmaceuticals. Notably, during his 13 year tenure at Genentech, he was the Vice President and Head of the Immunology and Tissue Repair clinical group and had responsibility for the approvals of LUCENTIS® for wet age-related macular degeneration and RITUXAN® for rheumatoid arthritis. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Johnson spent 18 years practicing medicine. Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, attained Board Certification in Pediatrics at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and completed his Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship at Washington University. He has presented clinical data at numerous medical conferences and published in several respected scientific journals.

In addition, Drs. Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center will provide an overview of macular degeneration and discuss ongoing Retina Health Center studies that are helping patients at the local, national and international level.

Retina Health Center was established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties since 1993. Dr. Eaton and Dr. Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center are principal investigators for the Macular Degeneration Research Center, founded by Dr. Eaton, which has conducted numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples or visit www.RetinaHealthCenter.com.

Case studies from Retina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton published in Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute publication, Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology

Dr. Eaton

Exploring the complexities of treatment options for care of diabetic macular edema (DME), Dr. Alexander Eaton, founder and director of Retina Health Center has contributed a compilation of case presentations, recently published in Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology, a continuing education forum of The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins.

Using case presentations, Dr. Eaton’s article illustrates how retina specialists can apply the most current data on efficacy and safety of treatment therapies for optimal treatment and management of patients with DME.

DME occurs in people with diabetes when the blood vessels in the eye become damaged as a result of elevated blood sugars and byproducts. The condition can lead to vision loss.

Dr. Eaton is a nationally regarded expert on the treatment of DME, and Retina Health Center was the first center in the U.S. to treat DME patients with ILUVIEN since the FDA approval of the ILUVIEN implant for the treatment of DME.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration, and has invented numerous medical devices for use by patients and physicians that are used worldwide. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

Retina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton among panel of national experts on improving outcomes for patients with diabetic macular edema

Dr. Eaton

Retina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton recently participated in a panel discussion during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting in Colorado. Dr. Eaton joined retinal specialists from around the country, including physicians from Duke University School of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College and Tufts University School of Medicine, to discuss the current understanding of diabetic macular edema, its causes and the latest and best treatment options for patients. The panel discussion has been published in the November/December 2015 issue of Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers & Imaging (OSLI) Retina, a publication of peer-reviewed clinical science and case report articles focusing on retinal disease, surgery and pharmacotherapy.

Diabetic macular edema, or DME, occurs in people with diabetes when the blood vessels in the eye become damaged as a result of elevated blood sugars and byproducts. The condition can lead to vision loss.

Dr. Eaton is a nationally regarded expert on the treatment of DME, and Retina Health Center was the first center in the U.S. to treat DME patients with ILUVIEN since the FDA approval of the ILUVIEN implant for the treatment of DME.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration, and has invented numerous medical devices for use by patients and physicians that are used worldwide. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

Dr. Alexander Eaton earns American Academy of Ophthalmology’s 2015 Achievement Award

2015 - Dr. Eaton

Dr. Alexander Eaton, director of Retina Health Center, has been honored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) with the 2015 Achievement Award.  The AAO’s annual achievement awards honor ophthalmologists in multiple stages of practice and for a range of activities, from humanitarian service and significant contributions to the profession, to mentorship and faithful volunteer service. The awards will be presented during AAO’s annual meeting, Nov. 14-17 in Las Vegas.

Dr. Eaton is the founder and director of Retina Health Center and has practiced ophthalmology in Southwest Florida since 1993. He is board certified in Ophthalmology and is an authority on the treatment of macular degeneration, diabetes, and other macular problems, and he has been the principle investigator in numerous research studies on these conditions.

He is widely published and is the author of See Again! Reversing and Preventing Macular Degeneration. Dr. Eaton has invented a number of surgical tools and instruments to make surgery safer and more efficient. His inventions have been featured in the New York Times, and he has a faculty appointment at Duke University.

His extensive eye care expertise has been recognized by former Governor Jeb Bush, who appointed him to the Diabetes Advisory Council for the State of Florida, for which he served as chair.  He earned his medical degree and completed his retinal training at Duke University, where he also served as chief resident.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration, and has invented numerous medical devices for use by patients and physicians that are used worldwide. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

American Society of Retina Specialists honors Drs. Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor at annual meeting in Vienna, Austria

Retina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton and his colleague, Dr. Hussein Wafapoor, received the American Society of Retina Specialists’ (ASRS) 2015 Honor Award at the ASRS Annual Meeting on July 11 in Vienna, Austria.

2015 - Dr. Eaton - Headshot as of June 8 2015_rt

Dr. Eaton is the founder and director of Retina Health Center and has practiced ophthalmology in Southwest Florida since 1993. He is board certified in Ophthalmology and is an authority on the treatment of macular degeneration, diabetes, and other macular problems, and he has been the principle investigator in numerous research studies on these conditions.

He is widely published and is the author of See Again! Reversing and Preventing Macular Degeneration. Dr. Eaton has invented a number of surgical tools and instruments to make surgery safer and more efficient. His inventions have been featured in the New York Times, and he has a faculty appointment at Duke University.

His extensive eye care expertise has been recognized by former Governor Jeb Bush, who appointed him to the Diabetes Advisory Council for the State of Florida, for which he served as chair.  He earned his medical degree and completed his retinal training at Duke University, where he also served as chief resident.

2010 - Dr Wafapoor Nov 2010

Dr. Wafapoor is board certified in Ophthalmology and has won numerous awards, including the Samuel B. Johnson Teacher of the Year Award in 2002, an Appreciation Award from the VA Medical Center, and the 2006 American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award.

He completed his residency in Argentina in addition to a second ophthalmology residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., where he also served as assistant professor in the vitreoretinal service from 2002 to 2006.

Dr. Wafapoor completed his retina training at the Louisiana State University Eye Center under Gholam A. Peyman, MD. He earned his medical degree at the University of Catolica De Cordoba in Argentina.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration, and has invented numerous medical devices for use by patients and physicians that are used worldwide. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

Public invited to free symposium Feb. 22 on macular degeneration

Posted January 28th, 2014 by Priority Marketing and filed in Events, News, Public Relations

Dr Wafapoor Nov 2010

Dr. Alexander Eaton

Dr_Awh_8-2011On Saturday, Feb. 22, Retina Health Center and the Foundation Fighting Blindness will host the 11th annual Southwest Florida Macular Degeneration Symposium with world-renowned experts providing the latest information on treatment options and new discoveries. Attendees will learn about the advent of personalized medicine for the management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), what many are calling the most important breakthrough in the treatment of macular degeneration in 2013. They will also hear about current treatment options, clinical trials and new technologies for AMD.

This free three-hour presentation will be given twice on Feb. 22 from 9 a.m.-noon and from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, 5001 Coconut Rd. in Bonita Springs. To ensure an available seat, attendees must register in advance by calling 800-586-6765.

Dr. Carl Awh, an internationally-recognized retina specialist, will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Symposium. Dr. Awh will share the results of his work that lead to the discovery of the importance of individuals knowing their genotype in order to optimally manage their AMD. He will explain how knowing your genotype will help you select the best nutritional supplements for you and how this approach can more than double your benefit when compared to taking nutritional supplements without knowing your genotype.

In addition to Dr. Awh’s presentation, Drs. Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center will provide an overview of macular degeneration and discuss ongoing studies at Retina Health Center’s Macular Degeneration Research Center in Fort Myers that are helping patients at the local, national and international level. Guests will also hear from Dr. Timothy Schoen of the Foundation Fighting Blindness who will share a global perspective on retinal degenerative disease research.

About the keynote speaker, Dr. Carl Awh

Dr. Awh currently practices at Tennessee Retina, where he is the managing partner. He has also served as an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the director of Vitreoretinal Service at the Krieger Eye Institute, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and an instructor of ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Awh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, and post-graduate training at Georgetown University Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center.

Retina Health Center was established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties since 1993. Dr. Eaton and Dr. Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center are principal investigators for the Macular Degeneration Research Center, founded by Dr. Eaton, which has conducted numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples or visit www.RetinaHealthCenter.com.

Retina Health Center study evaluates efficiency, comfort of new injection device for patient care

Photo 1 Dr. Alexander Eaton gives injection of Lucentis to patient Franklin DicksonA study by Retina Health Center examining the comfort and efficiency of a new guarded injection device used for targeted application of medication for retinal disorders has been published in the November/December issue of OSLI Retina, a peer-reviewed clinical publication. In July 2012 Retina Health Center began clinical trials, enrolling 70 consenting patients, to evaluate if the device is faster and/or more comfortable than existing techniques that use a lid speculum.

According to the study, use of the guarded injection device without a lid speculum reduces the injection time by one-third, and saves considerable staff time that would be needed to process the lid speculum. However, in reviewing pain scores of participating patients, there was no significant difference in patient pain levels when comparing the two needles, though the results show a trend toward greater comfort using the guarded injection device. Similarly, while there was no difference in rates of infections using the two devices, the prevention of needle contamination using the guarded device, despite documented video contact with an eyelid, suggests it has a protective effect.

“These results suggest that this new device addresses an unmet need by providing a simple way of reducing injection times and theoretically reducing risk of injection from direct contact with eyelids, aerosolized saliva and other environmental contaminants during injection,” said study author and Retina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton. “We’re pleased with these results. For patients with wet age related macular degeneration and other retinal disorders who undergo injections up to every four weeks, this device should help to improve the patient care experience by reducing the injection time.”

Recently developed by Retina Health Center in collaboration with other researchers, the guarded injection device incorporates a small gauge needle covered by a thin protective sleeve designed to protect the needle from contamination risks before and during the injection such as aerosolized saliva droplets from speech or breathing, as well as from the eyelashes or other external contaminants.
Dr. Eaton will share additional study results with ophthalmologists from around the world Dec. 6-7 at the Asia Pacific Vitreo-retina Society Congress in Japan.

An estimated 10 million people worldwide receive eye injections every year. This number has increased considerably over the last few years and is expected to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. The most serious complication of intravitreal injections (IVIs) is endophthalmitis, with incidences of infection rates being reported between 0.02 percent and 0.87 percent. While the incidence of endophthalmitis following IVIs is low, the outcome tends to be poor.

This is the first of a number of products being developed by I-Tech JV Development Company which address issues with intravitreal injections to reach clinical trial. By combining a team of retinal thought leaders and experienced device designers, the I-Tech JV Development Company is able to rapidly assess and develop products to meet evolving retina needs.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

Dr. Alexander Eaton to speak at international retinal conference on new device to improve safety and comfort during eye injection treatments

Dr. Alexander EatonRetina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton will speak to ophthalmologists from around the world Dec. 6-7 at the Asia Pacific Vitreo-retina Society Congress in Japan on the development of a new device to improve the safety and comfort of patients during the administration of eye injections. Eaton will share results of clinical use of the Guarded Injection Device following clinical trials at Retina Health Center to evaluate the comfort and effectiveness of the device.
Recently developed by Retina Health Center in collaboration with other researchers, the guarded injection device incorporates a small gauge needle covered by a thin protective sleeve designed to protect the needle from contamination risks before and during the injection such as aerosolized saliva droplets from speech or breathing, as well as from the eyelashes or other external contaminants.
An estimated 10 million people worldwide receive eye injections every year. This number has increased considerably over the last few years and is expected to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. The most serious complication of intravitreal injections (IVIs) is endophthalmitis, with incidences of infection rates being reported between 0.02 percent and 0.87 percent. While the incidence of endophthalmitis following IVIs is low, the outcome tends to be poor.
“For patients with wet age related macular degeneration, retinal vascular occlusions, and diabetic retinopathy who undergo injections up to every four weeks, this device should help to reduce the burden both in terms of patient comfort, as well as to reduce the length of time for the injections,” said Eaton. “Experimental evidence also suggests it may help to reduce the risk of needle contamination and ultimately intraocular infections.”
This is the first of a number of products being developed by I-Tech JV Development Company which address issues with intravitreal injections to reach clinical trial. By combining a team of retinal thought leaders and experienced device designers, the I-Tech JV Development Company is able to rapidly assess and develop products to meet evolving retina needs.
Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 17 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

New Guarded Injection Device developed by Retina Health Center featured in ophthalmology journal

Posted January 25th, 2013 by Priority Marketing and filed in News

A new device developed by Retina Health Center to improve eye injections is featured in the January edition of Review of Ophthalmology, a medical publication which highlights current, clinically relevant information on surgical techniques, disease diagnosis and management and new technologies in the field of ophthalmology.

Recently developed by Retina Health Center in collaboration with other researchers, the guarded injection device incorporates a small gauge needle covered by a thin protective sleeve designed to protect the needle from contamination risks before and during the injection such as aerosolized saliva droplets from speech or breathing, as well as from the eyelashes or other external contaminants.  Clinical trials of the investigational device recently began at the Retina Health Center to evaluate the comfort and effectiveness of the device.

In the article titled, “Striving to Improve Intravitreal Injections, Eaton says he anticipates that the guarded injection device will be available in the marketplace within six months to a year. Click here to read the full article: http://www.revophth.com/content/d/technology_update/i/2251/c/38568/.

This is the first of a number of products being developed by I-Tech JV Development Company which address issues with intravitreal injections to reach clinical trial.  By combining a team of retinal thought leaders and experienced device designers, the I-Tech JV Development Company is able to rapidly assess and develop products to meet evolving retina needs.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 17 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.