Sumitomo, Japan university startup developing app to treat amblyopia in children

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A child uses virtual reality technology to play a Kendama game in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Sept. 29.

Sumitomo Corp. announced it is developing an app to treat amblyopia, or lazy eye, in children in cooperation with an ophthalmic startup at Juntendo University.

Sumitomo is creating an app that utilizes virtual reality (VR) goggles to allow children to receive treatment while watching videos and playing games.

An app developed for clinical research features a game using a Kendama ball-and-cup toy designed to help children who have significantly reduced vision in one eye. The app displays different images for each eye to help restore their vision. The current method to treat amblyopia is to cover one eye, so many children do not like it.

Sumitomo and the startup aim to sell the app once they confirm its effectiveness in a clinical trial and it is approved.

The app will help in areas that are currently difficult to cure with existing medicine. It is expected to improve patients’ lifestyles and increase the effectiveness of treatment.