Web Vision Technologies is working closely with National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) to develop an “All-in-One” vision testing (diagnostic) device that can be deployed on spacecraft to do comprehensive vision testing, evaluation, and to guide medical interventions of astronauts experiencing vision problems on future long-duration, deep space missions. There is limited room for vision testing equipment on future spacecraft so NASA needs a single device that is compact, space hardened, and can conduct a multitude of vision tests including retinal imaging, visual fields, functional vision, OCT, etc. Web Vision has adopted the name “Vision for Mars” and has received grant funding for Phase One from the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), a NASA funded organization.

he Problem – Astronauts currently experience significant vision issues on long duration space missions on the International Space Station (ISS). The issue is referred to by NASA as Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome or SANS.  NASA anticipates that these vision issues will be exacerbated as astronauts travel to the Moon, Mars, asteroids and on other longer deep space missions. Currently, NASA is using existing off-the-shelf vision testing/diagnostic equipment on the ISS to diagnose and monitor the vision problems which are leading to loss of visual function such as swelling of the optic disc, globe flattening, choroidal folds, cotton wool spots and refractive shifts. However, as NASA sends astronauts to the Moon and beyond, this equipment will not withstand the rigors of space and most are too large to fit in future smaller spacecraft, which is smaller than the ISS. (See Figure 1). As a result, this Multifunctional Ophthalmic Device (MOD) diagnostic equipment has become critical and a high priority for NASA.

Collaborative Effort – Web Vision is seeking to partner with companies and individuals to be part of the Vision for Mars Project. Web Vision will be meeting with interested parties at the upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology Conference in Chicago (October 25-29) to discuss the mission, required resources and the potential for developing this device into a commercial product.

“We are excited to be launching the Vision for Mars Project to help NASA find a solution for a single device, multi-purpose vision testing equipment to be used on future spacecraft for deep space missions,” stated Bob Main, CEO Web Vision Technologies.  “We are passionate about helping NASA achieve their goal of returning humans to the moon and traveling to Mars and beyond. In the next weeks we will be meeting with many executives from ophthalmic technology companies to find the right partner(s) to help us develop this important technology. We plan to finalize the selection of these partners in the first quarter of 2019.”