Open source modular ptosis crutch for the treatment of myasthenia gravis

Introduction: Pharmacologic treatment of Myasthenia Gravis presents challenges due to poor tolerability in some patients. Conventional ptosis crutches have limitations such as interference with blinking which causes ocular surface drying, and frequent irritation of the eyes. To address this problem, a modular and adjustable ptosis crutch for elevating the upper eyelid in Myasthenia Gravis patients has been proposed as a non-surgical and low-cost solution.

Areas covered: This paper reviews the literature on the challenges in the treatment of Myasthenia Gravis globally and focuses on a modular and adjustable ptosis crutch that has been developed by the Medical Device Laboratory at the University of Cape Town.

Expert commentary: The new medical device has potential as a simple, effective and unobtrusive solution to elevate the drooping upper eyelid(s) above the visual axis without the need for medication and surgery. Access to the technology is provided through an open source platform which makes it available globally. Open access provides opportunities for further open innovation to address the current limitations of the device, ultimately for the benefit not only of people suffering from Myasthenia Gravis but also of those with ptosis from other aetiologies.