Visualising the invisible tear film: Beyond 700
Time & Location
About the Event
At the red end of the light spectrum, the human eye can see to about 700nm. Beyond that, the
world is invisible. When two scientists at Western Sydney University (WSU) discovered they could
visualise the tear file on the human eye, it set them on a path to the development of a medical
device to diagnose the debilitating condition of dry eye.
The tear film is a thin moist layer spread over the front of the eye by blinking. When problems occur,
it can lead to eye redness, sensitivity to light, diminished vision and constant, debilitating pain. A
person’s lifestyle is also affected by difficulty wearing contact lenses and night-time driving.
If left untreated, dry eye is a serious condition but current diagnostic tests are imprecise, time-
consuming and often the best guess, leading to the potential for misdiagnosis. Given that the
condition affects more than 15% of the population, WSU scientists Thomas Millar and Burkhardt
Schett set about doing something about it.
After discovering that they could see the tear film in real-time using infrared technology, and
securing IP, they set up a company to design and manufacture a device called TearView with
associated software. This system allows clinicians to see the formation and integrity of the tear film.
In this webinar Tom Millar provides a case study of the development of TearView, covering many of
the key topics critical to successful active MedTech product development. Topics include consulting
medical specialists, clinical evaluations, patent strategy, grant applications, company set up, finding
partners and more.