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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Sharmin Habib, OD, optometrist, wellness advocate, and Co-Founder of Umay provides an overview of digital eye strain and how her company is working to reduce it for everyone.

The innovative, patented technology developed by Habib’s company is predicated upon years of thermal therapy research with a focus on restoring eye health. Umay’s proprietary ‘Thermal Meditation’ can assist digital device users who seek to reset the effects of screen time via relaxation of the mind and restoration of the organic function of our eyes. Umay was selected as a finalist of the Global Accelerator program.

The eye doctor and relaxation innovator discuss how she and her brother combined their skills to launch Umay. Habib states that many of us may have regular symptoms such as itchy, red, burning or dry eyes, which could very well be an indication that digital eye strain is occurring. With daily average screen usage times accelerating up to nearly 11 hours per day, Habib says that digital eye strain puts excess stress on the oil glands found along the eyelid margin. Remarkably, our blink rate is reduced by up to 70% when we are looking into screens. And as she states, it is these needed blinks that help pump out healthy oils from those glands that help keep our tears from evaporating or drying out. Heat, Habib states, is the way to get those oil glands working again to do their job in protecting the eyes. Habib’s brother’s own eye problems were the inspiration for them to find a better way to apply heat, in a controlled manner, that would be efficient and easy, and allow those suffering from eye strain to find relief.

Habib states that most eye doctors who direct patients to use warm compresses over their eyes for eye strain report that many of their patients are noncompliant. With the difficulty in regulating temperature, mess, and impracticality, patients just simply were not making the effort. These problems of use were important considerations in the design of Umay’s device.

Habib talks about the sensory experience and she explains the many benefits of their device, providing feedback they have received from their users. She explains their other device integrations such as meditation experiences with the guided breath, and she details how their device can vary the temperature and how it can help users enhance focus, at the moment, on their sensory experience. And Habib discusses how this mindfulness before sleep can create a relaxed state that can improve sleep quality.

Umay’s product is designed to easily fit into an individual’s bedtime, wellness routine, or during the day whenever they feel the need.

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