SRD Vision, LLC was founded by Ted Newill in April 2011 with the express purpose of acquiring the Salzburg Reading Desk technology from the Austrian inventors and turning it into a successful commercial product. The inventors of the Salzburg Reading Desk (SRD) are:
- Univ. Prof. Dr. Günther Grabner
- Dr. Alois Dexl, MSc
- Dipl. Ing. Dr. techn. Horst Schlögel
- Michael Wolfbauer
Prof. Dr. Grabner is the Director, University Eye Clinic, Paracelsus Medizinische Privat-Universität in Salzburg, Austria. Dr. Dexl is an ophthalmologist on staff at the same eye clinic.
The Story of The Salzburg Reading Desk
Prof. Dr. Grabner and his staff have been and are currently involved in clinical trials related to accommodative IOLs and corneal inlays. While participating in these trials, they noticed a difference between a patient’s visual acuity and actual patient satisfaction with surgical results. In other words, visual acuity measurements indicated what should have been a satisfactory result. Yet patient feedback did not always indicate the same. This motivated Prof. Dr. Grabner and his colleagues to build a device that would help them measure reading acuity. He knew that reading acuity was different than visual acuity. Also, reading acuity would be a more accurate measure of a patient’s visual quality of life.
Another key element to determining the success of a surgical procedure related to presbyopia was the resulting patient’s reading distance. Typical clinical study protocols required near vision tests at a fixed distance. However, Prof. Dr. Grabner and his colleagues knew that everyone has a different preferred near vision distance. For example, in general, tall people with long arms adopt a longer near reading distance than short people with shorter arms. So, visual acuity measures at fixed distances don’t always reflect a patient’s acuity at their preferred reading
In 2004, the group of inventors began to design the idea of a reading desk that would measure reading acuity at a patient’s preferred near reading distance.
In the spring of 2005, the first proof of concept Salzburg Reading Desks was built using ultrasound technology.
In the winter of 2005/2006 the inventors changed the technology to the stereophotogrammetric method with cameras. If you look at original articles and posters about this device, you will see that it was simply a brightly lit desk with the reading chart and the camera system.
In the spring of 2010 they upgraded the technology to augment the stereophotogrammetric method with infrared lighting and a high resolution monitor in place of the paper charts.
Throughout this 6 year period the inventors constantly upgraded and validated the software.
On July 12, SRD Vision, LLC signed an agreement with the inventors to acquire the Salzburg Reading Desk technology.
In May 2011, we showed the first prototype to doctors and industry representatives at ARVO in Ft. Lauderdale. The feedback was positive. Most important was the feedback that a device that measures reading acuity was needed for a wide variety of patients with various eye pathologies and low vision problems.
A commercial version of the SRD was developed and received the CE mark in May 2012. This first product is called the SRD RDFD 1.0. In late 2014 a second generation SRD was introduced that incorporates significant advances in screen technology and software.
The SRD will be able to help clinicians, researchers and practitioners to better assess near visual abilities in the field of refractive, cataract and retinal surgery and when following patient being treated for AMD and DR.