Seeing Remote Healthcare: In Conversation with Terrence Tormey, CEO of Xenon-VR Inc

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B2B and SaaS models aren’t terms that typically come into global healthcare discussions. The unique nature of American-style healthcare lays those businesses processes bare from research to commercialization through the start-up eco system, from to regulatory approvals to sales and marketing. Terrence O’Brien Tormey has more than 45 years of sales, marketing, and executive experience in the global bio-pharmaceutical, and healthcare device markets. His next challenge is to bring Xenon-VR into eye doctors’ practices.

Expected to be released to US office-based optometrists as early as the first quarter of 2022, Xenon-VR looks like any VR gaming headset. The tool, though, leverages optical physics through a combination of AI and VR to power its eye tracking software and liquid-lenses. The device enables several different kinds of eye exams concurrently: visual field, extra ocular muscle, visual acuity, confrontation field, colour vision and contrast. The device can also be used remotely, so patients in Long-Term Care Facilities, or in home care, can have their eyes examined without a doctor present. The company is currently seeking investors moving out of its MVP validation phase.

“After adjusting the headset to the patient’s head, the images sent and stored in the cloud,” Tormey explains. “There are other goggles and headsets that claim to do our work, and they do one or two but not all the tests ours does concurrently. The visual field can test for glaucoma, it can test for the spread of type 2 diabetes retinopathy.”

Right now, in some testing scenarios, patients can spend up to 90 minutes with their eyes fixated on a point of light.

“Our eye-tracking software, can follow the patient and conduct the test in 30 minutes more comfortably,” Tormey says.

The change, Xenon-VR claims, can enable doctors to see up to 10 times as many patients.

Getting the device into optometry practices is very much a B2B model.

“Our business models has re-sellers selling the device to the doctor. Right now, we’re promoting it to office-based optometrists and those working for chains,” Tormey says. “The device is an outright purchase with the SAAS components through a yearly licensing fee for software updates.”

The company plans to launch the product with the headset and its auto-refraction test to determine corrective lens. With a second module to follow within a year. However, Tormey is quick to emphasize that the tool does not provide diagnoses.

“While the tool will help doctors assess the progression of glaucoma or type 2 diabetes retinopathy,” he explains, “it does not make a diagnosis. By providing the doctor with the data they need, they can make the diagnosis based on their expertise.”

The headset is currently being assessed by the FDA in the US. Tormey expects that the device may only require clearance, not approval to be used in patient care. The distinction will allow Xenon-VR to reach its optometrist office market faster.

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Kate Baggott

Kate Baggott

Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baggott-9a0306/