A Narberth ophthalmology-device maker has received government clearance for technology that allows for better tracking of glaucoma.

EyeIC Inc. said that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved MatchedFlicker, a software-based program that allows retinal photos to be annotated and archived to track the progression of the eye ailment that can lead to blindness because of damage to the optic nerve.

The technology enables eye care professionals to compare retinal images taken at different visits from the same patient and see change brought to life as motion. Changes in eye condition can be marked, with the software translating those marks to the other images for that same patient, and the file can be printed as well as saved electronically.

It is estimated that over four million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it, according to Prevent Blindness America, a national nonprofit eye health and safety organization.

"We are very optimistic that our MatchedFlicker technology will address the pervasive problem of early change detection in glaucoma," said Ira Wallace, EyeIC's chief executive.

"Currently, the gold standard for detecting retinal changes is done by glaucoma trained experts that compare separate pairs of stereo photos side by side, which makes it difficult to find and document changes between images."

The FDA's fast-tracked 510(k) clearance is designed for devices that are basically equivalent to something already on the market.

EyeIC was founded in 2004 with a portfolio of intellectual property from the University of Pennsylvania. In November, the company completed a round of $1.9 million in fund-raising from MentorTech Ventures, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, private investors and its founder.