By day, Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor see dozens of patients at their ophthalmology practice, Retina Health Center in Fort Myers.
But at night, their office building turns into a hive of entrepreneurial activity, when the doctors create new and better ways to treat patients. Their inventions have helped propel their reputation as industry leaders.
For example, the doctors created a device that helps patients monitor how well they use eye drops. Using a tiny camera that snaps onto an eye drop bottle, the doctors can record how well patients target their eyes (most people perform this task poorly). The recording device is the size of a cigarette pack that connects to the camera.
Another device the doctors created is a tiny sleeve that wraps around a needle to guard against eye infections when doctors inject drugs into a patient's eyeball. In addition to reducing infections if patients unintentionally blink, the device helps doctors be more efficient because they don't have to use a speculum to keep the eyelid open.
When they're not seeing patients or creating new medical devices, Eaton and Wafapoor are accepting awards for their groundbreaking work. The latest: the American Society of Retina Specialists awarded the duo the 2015 Honor Award at the group's convention in Vienna, Austria. The award is based on their contribution to the society's scientific programs.