Light Therapy Treatment for Degenerative Sight Threatening Conditions

Current treatments for diabetic retinopathy – sight loss in patients with diabetes – are expensive and invasive. PolyPhotonix is a North East based SME which has developed a sleep mask for the prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, but is new to working with the NHS and needed support with market validation.

Current treatments for diabetic retinopathy are expensive and invasive; it is estimated that savings of over £1 billion per year could be made in the NHS if this new technology were rolled out across the UK healthcare service.


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  • 90% of Type 1 patients and 67% of Type 2 patients will develop Diabetic Retinopathy within 10 years of diagnosis
  • Current treatments are expensive and highly invasive; laser treatment or intraocular injections, which can cost up to £10,000 per eye per year

The Noctura 400 sleep mask developed by PolyPhotonix provides a non-invasive light therapy treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy.

The patient user experience is significantly enhanced using phototherapy:

  • It is non-invasive
  • There is no need for expensive injections
  • It can be treated at home (is there any patient satisfaction stuff I can include?)
  • It can be monitored

With AHSN support, PolyPhotonix have carried out trials in multiple centres and worked directly with clinicians to understand how and where the mask could be used in the healthcare system.

AHSN support sped up the mask’s route to market and into the hands of patients who can use it in their homes, offering better care at lower cost.

In addition to working with the North East and North Cumbria region Polyphotonix has worked closely with other AHSN regions, in doing so helping to extend the reach of the technology, assistance being provided to fund research and also providing the link to CCGs in other areas.

The North East region has benefitted from the availability of highly skilled jobs at the forefront of innovation, illustrating how a spark of innovation can lead to both improved health and increased wealth in the region.

We are awaiting the outcome of a clinical trial ‘Cleopatra’ which involved City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.