We’re currently introducing a system for clinical testing that will take advantage of the qCSF algorithm and deliver it to the marketplace: AST Manifold Platform. The AST Manifold Platform is a distance vision clinical testing system that includes several parts: a display, cart, and tablet, with software components that include the qCSF algorithm.
Our development of the Manifold Platform has refined the test to improve usability and comfort, while maintaining laboratory-grade precision. Our first research version used sine-wave gratings similar to other assessments of the contrast sensitivity function, with a high guessing rate (50%) and lower statistical efficiency. To translate this work to a clinical tool we have tapped previous work on spatial vision. The Manifold Platform uses the set of Sloan optotypes, which are then bandpass-filtered with a raised cosine window, with peak frequency 4 cycles per letter. The hybrid letter-grating stimulus that results provides the best of both worlds: the pattern is easily identifiable as a letter, but also exhibits the narrow-band frequency information of a grating. Another advantage of the Sloan set is the reduction of the guessing rate (1 of 10 = 10%), which improves test efficiency.
We have received our CE Mark for marketing in Europe. Soon, we will complete FDA registration and device listing. We have seeded prototypes of the AST Manifold Platform to research and clinical labs in the United States and Germany. Our research partners—prominent clinicians from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Hamburg-Eppendorf, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Navy Surgical Medical Center, Kellogg Eye Center, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, and Nova Southeastern College of Optometry—are helping us gather real-world data to validate the device and method.
And the results—in clinical trials, research studies, and in early usability tests—are very encouraging.
We believe AST products will become a new standard: a rapid and precise way to assess and monitor visual health over time.