In 1977, Dutch professor Dr. Jan Worst was invited by a fellow ophthalmologist to visit a hospital in Pakistan. Professor Worst and his wife were affected by the very poor conditions in which eye surgery was being performed. Poor people with cataract problems travelled from far to get help. Sometimes they’d leave with strong glasses, but often without any form of vision correction. This inspired Professor Worst. Glasses weren’t practical and were also too expensive for these people. He then discovered that lenses can easily be attached to the iris of the eye. Professor Worst then experimented with small lenses that he made himself and implanted these into his patients’ eyes. That’s how the principle of the implant lens, i.e. the ArtiLens, was born – out of necessity. “But that’s true of many inventions,” says Professor Worst.
The professor’s wife, Anneke Worst, then founded Ophtec. The company is still considered the global leader in the field of insertable lenses, intended to replace glasses. ArtiLenses are implanted only by specially trained Ophtec ophthalmologists. Ophtec trains ophthalmologists all over the world. All ArtiLens production is in Groningen, which is also the home of the research department. This is a major advantage because the Ophtec experts can continuously work on refining and improving the lenses and apply what they do directly. The possibilities of ArtiLens are infinite.