Since 1987, world-renowned sleep psychologists, Professor Leon Lack and Dr Helen Wright from Flinders University, have studied the effects of light on the human body clock.
Their work focused on circadian rhythms, the fluctuations in biological process occurring on a 24-hour basis in the body. Research determined that exposure to bright light can normalize the timing of the rhythms and assist with the treatment of insomnia, winter depression, jet-lag and shift work disorder.
The result of this extensive body of work was Re-Timer, glasses proven to re-time one’s body clock. The glasses shine glowing green-blue light into the eye of the wearer to help manipulate their production of melatonin — the hormone the body uses to induce sleep.
The researchers approached the Medical Device Partnering Program following numerous clinical trials to develop a low-cost market entry product, incorporating new electronics into existing safety glasses.
Moving from prototype to production can be a long and expensive exercise, but through MDPP’s support and network of manufacturing partners the process was streamlined.
The prototype glasses that the MDPP developed allowed Re-Timer to introduce the glasses to the market and obtain vital consumer feedback and acceptance from sleep professionals. This stage allowed for important modifications and developments to be made prior to the company launching a full release.
Since MDPP’s initial involvement, Re-Timer has gone onto achieve global success – now being sold in over 40 countries including the US, China and the Netherlands.
The glasses have been proven to adjust the sleep cycles of individuals from frequent flyers and shift workers to those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Sporting teams like the Socceroos are also making use of the technology, using the glasses to help reset their body clocks during a long-haul flight during the World Cup qualifying games.
MDPP Director Professor Karen Reynolds has enjoyed watching Re-Timer go from strength to strength stating, "It is always rewarding helping clients such as Re-Timer reach the market with an innovative device and to have played a part in the Re-Timer success story is extremely satisfying”.