In Conversation With: Ocushield
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Blue light is everywhere, but it’s especially common in digital devices. Extended use of digital devices means extended exposure to blue light which can have a significant impact on your wellbeing during the day – headaches, eye irritation and fatigue are all common symptoms. What’s more, blue light makes your body forget when it’s bedtime by blocking melatonin – the hormone that reminds your body when it’s time to go to sleep.
That’s why Ocushield is the world’s first and only creator of medically-rated blue light blocking screen protectors for all your digital devices as well as FDA approved blue light blocking stylish unisex glasses. Developed by qualified optometrists, Ocushield’s screen protectors for smartphones, laptops as well as glasses effectively block up to 90% of harmful blue light emissions. And unlike apps and ‘night mode’ settings, Ocushield does this without discolouring your screen. The result is a crystal-clear display that keeps your eyes feeling fresh, reducing dryness and allowing you to focus for longer. A healthier, more productive you! We speak to Ocushield’s founder Dhruvin Patel about why he started Ocushield and how his product is providing a better nights sleep.
Tell me a little about yourself, and what inspired you to create Ocushield –
Who is your target demographic, and why?
I’m a gua bao (pork belly bun) loving optometrist who graduated 4 years ago from City University, London. I’ve since become obsessed with how technology is affecting us in the digital age. I was inspired to create Ocushield products as I wanted to make a larger impact than the 15 to 20 patients I would be seeing in a day. Currently, Ocushield products are helping peoples eyes feel fresher and improving in over 68 countries.
Our target demographic is vast due to the usage of smartphones and monitors across the board, but we see a high affinity of customers who are parents purchasing for their family as well as professionals who spend a lot of time in front of screens. I believe parents want to make sure their children’s eyes are protected from all the extensive digital device use now and rightly so as children’s eyes don’t form fully until their teenage years so they’re actually more susceptible to damage from UV and blue light. And the latter of professionals, this is due to extensive screen time while at work and out of work, it seems now in many industries a 9-5 is more a 8-8!
Tell us more about how blue light can effect your sleep? Could you tell us a bit more about the research process in
this regard, and how it fitted into the production and creation of the Ocushield range?
Harmful blue light which sits very close to UV light in the visible spectrum of light inhibits a hormone called Melatonin. Melatonin tells your body it’s time to get ready for bed and is usually released as the sun sets because there is no longer this source of this blue light. But now as we bring the sun indoors in the form of digital devices we are wreaking havoc on our sleep wake cycles by delaying this natural process. Some people are more affected than others, that’s why some can sleep while watching the TV and others can’t.
Ocushield began as a research project at City University, London in 2013 while I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Optometry. The technology to remove blue light was available for prescription glasses wearers but not for people like myself who don’t wear spectacles. I thought to myself as devices gain popularity as well as get bigger and brighter in size, this will become a larger problem for non-spectacle wearers. Therefore I began looking at the research out there on how blue light affected our eyes but notably also found blue light was affecting our sleep equally.
Of all the Ocushield products we are featuring on the website, what is the best-seller, and why is it a must need?
The best seller in 2019 has been the Ocushield anti blue light glasses. I believe this has been popular as people can wear them whenever they are looking at multiple devices weather its their smartphone or laptop. The glasses also have UV 400 filter so they can be worn outside to protect your eyes from UV light for short periods.
What puts Ocushield head and shoulders above other brands in the sleep tech industry? What would you say is the most distinguished feature of your brand?
We love all brands who are helping the sleep epidemic, it is such a complex topic that there’s no one fit product or solution. I’m extremely proud to say Ocushield screen protectors are the world’s only medically rated screen protector by the MHRA. This means they’re Class 1 Medical Devices. A lot of work went into making sure our products are effective and filter blue light.
Some people refer to sleep as a luxury commodity. How, if at all, do you think sleep is changing in the modern era?
Sleep is becoming more of a focus point. This is because when you sleep better, you feel better, you get more done. It affects so much more than just feeling a bit groggy. Your immune system, your mood, physical ability, mental ability and so much more. With consumers taking health and well being into their own hands, more knowledge is available for people to digest and actually learn what is important in their lives and how it impacts the quality of their life.
What does your product do to accommodate those shifting sleeping habits?
Our products provide a suitable aid for technology users who are watching Netflix in the evenings or firing of messages on Whatsapp. Fortunately, some manufacturers such as Apple have decided to help by allowing software called Nightshift in the device to reduce blue light. Although, research by Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has shown this isn’t actually very effective. Furthermore, Ocushield can remove blue light effectively without the retro orange tinge software gives off.
Where do you see the sleep tech industry in 10 years’ time?
We hope to carry on innovating with products that make a difference. Like our new Oculamp which we released this year. Our all day and all night lamp.
The Oculamp helps you keep your body clock in time, by controlling how much blue light it gives off, with three settings for different times of the day:
- Cool white [5400k] / Super bright
- For when you want your space at its brightest
- Neutral white [4200k] / Calm white
- Kinder on eyes, better for long periods of work
- Warm white [3100k] / Night mode
- To help you wind down with the evening
Can we expect any new products/designs/ranges?
Yes – we’re working on a new range of Ocushield blue blocking glasses as well as some new products for 2020! Ocushield will be available for the new iPhone launches in September of course, so if anyone gets their hands on a new device we’ve got you covered.
And finally, a few pearls of wisdom from you!
What’s your personal bedtime routine like? Run us through your recipe for great night’s sleep.
I use LIFX lightbulb in my home, so I can set the colour temperatures to very warm white light once it’s the evening. This gets my body producing plenty of melatonin ready for when I do choose to go to bed which is around 10 PM as I like to be in deep sleep by 12AM when your body is at it’s most restorative stage between 12-3AM. I also stop using my smartphone an hour before bed so I can give my mind a rest and practice some affirmations, gratitude and meditation. The mind is one of the most important aspects to control for sleep, if you can get into the right state of mind when your head hits the pillow you’ll be snoozing in no time!
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