„RemmedVR device for home vision therapy”
The project „RemmedVR device for home vision therapy” is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme Intelligent Development 2014-2020, Sub-measure 1.1.1 Industrial research and development works implemented by enterprises. The project will be implemented in the period: 01.07.2019–31.07.2023.
VALUE OF THE PROJECT: 9 894 823.29 zł
CONTRIBUTION OF THE EUROPEAN FUNDS: 7 113 851.31 zł
THE GOAL OF THE PROJECT
The main goal of the Project is to develop a RemmedVR device, designed for home therapy of visual disorders. Nowadays, amblyopia and strabismus is one of the most common disorders of binocular vision. It is estimated that it affects up to 5% of the population. Children, who have such a defect, have a disturbed perception of depth, stumble more often, and thus get injured. They have weak visual-motor coordination and a deficit in the processing of visual information. Vision therapy lasts for many years involving the competence of eye care professionals, and the success of the therapy depends on the involvement of caregivers, patients, regular checks and participation in office therapy. The standard of medical care includes passive therapy – ocular correction or contact lenses – and active therapy based on obstruction, i.e. covering the better eye This simple type of therapy is only effective when combined with the therapy performed under the control of an optometrist, which consists in undamping the visually impaired eye and incorporating it into binocular vision. The challenge of cabinet therapy is the objectivity of assessment of observations and involvement of children in often repetitive and unattractive activities
The RemmedVR system is a VR (virtual reality) goggle system with an adapter and equipped with a mobile controller to enable the following:
- recording the patient’s eye movement with an eye tracker,
- to implement control of the course of therapy based on recorded eye movements,
- generating an incentive to accommodate,
- measuring the accommodative response.
The RemmedVR device will allow you to perform therapeutic exercises at home. This therapy will be fully monitored and modified remotely by a specialist. On the basis of available observations and research we know that gamification of visual exercises improves positive effects of the vision therapy by increasing the child’s involvement, which helps to follow the recommendations.
The binocular eye tracking module solves the problem of patient fixation control. For each eye, the eye tracker will determine the direction of the patient’s gaze, on the basis of which the object the patient is currently looking at will be determined (the so-called fixation object). The majority of therapeutic exercises involve observation of moving objects. Knowing the eye movements and that of the fixation object, you will be able to control whether the patient performs the exercise correctly. Additionally, it will be possible to control the process of therapy, e.g. by means of adaptive acceleration of the movement of objects if the patient is able to follow the object at lower angular speed.
Typical VR goggles display a 3D image using a stereoscopic phenomenon. The patient’s left and right eye are exposed to images with a different perspective shift corresponding to the distance between eyes. Thanks to the vergence, the human visual system perceives two images as a 3D image. The depth at which objects are seen depends on the degree of shift of the images. Unfortunately, the stereoscopic method of generating 3D images does not affect the power of the optical system, which is constantly “set” to a fixed distance. The described phenomenon causes a vergence-accommodation conflict (VAC), resulting in problems in adapting to 3D vision. Vergence indicates the set depth of vision, while accommodation contradicts it, forcing an incorrect change in the vergence and causing problems with 3D image fusion. VAC is particularly problematic in the case of young children, because its influence on the development of their visual system is unknown. This problem also limits the use of VR technology in visual therapy where the correlation between convergence and accommodation is very important for the success of the therapy.
In the RemmedVR device, it is planned to develop an accommodation stimulus generator module by automatically changing the focus of the goggle optics The patient’s direction of gaze information provided by the eye tracker will enable the fixation object to be determined. Basing on this, the distance of patient’s eye from the observed object will be calculated and the focal length of the goggles’ optical system will be changed so that the virtual focusing plane coincides with the observed object. The RemmedVR device will also be e quipped with an accommodative response measuring module to objectively measure the power of the eye optical system and compare it to the accommodative response required for the displayed stimulus. The accommodation stimulus generator and accommodative response module allow the use of VR technology in the treatment of strabismic and accommodation disorders, as well as for work with accommodation disorders caused by amblyopia.