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Joshua Newman, Michael Waisbourd, Lisa A Hark, Debra Robinson, L Jay Katz; The Impact of a Novel Artificial Vision Device (OrCam) on the Quality of Life of Participants with End-Stage Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):3265.
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To determine the impact of OrCam device on vision-related quality of life (QoL) of legally blind participants. OrCam (OrCam Technologies LTD, Jerusalem, Israel) uses artificial vision technology built into a miniature smart camera that sits on the wearer’s eyeglasses frame. The technology converts visual information into the spoken word. OrCam reads any printed text, including newspapers, books, computer screens, restaurant menus, labels on supermarket products, and street signs, instantly relaying it to the user through a built-in mini speaker.
This prospective, 4-week observational study enrolled 27 legally blind participants with end-stage glaucoma and difficulty or inability to read. Participants were provided with the OrCam device during the study period and trained how to use it. Participants were administered the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire-25 (NEI-VFQ-25) at baseline and again at the final visit (4 weeks). A satisfaction questionnaire was administered at the final visit and consisted of a series of 10 questions pertaining to benefits and challenges participants may have experienced in using the OrCam device. A weekly phone survey was also to assess both the average number of hours participants spent using OrCam daily, as well as their current comfort-level using the device.
Participants responded positively to OrCam, with 74.1% (n=20) demonstrating an increase in their overall QoL according to the NEI-VFQ results.Participants that could read with or without the device, OrCam assisted them in reading at a 17% (332.7 to 277.6 sec) faster rate on average. The remaining 21 participants were able to read an entire article once equipped with OrCam.The average time participants spent using OrCam each day increased from 1.9 to 2.7 hours from week 1 to week 4. The vast majority, 89% (n=24), reported being “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the device. Furthermore, 23 participants (85%) reported that they were either “very likely” or “likely” to recommend the device to others.
OrCam, allowed legally blind participants with end-stage glaucoma to read independently, subsequently improving their QoL. This device may offer visually impaired participants additional resources to help read and function independently.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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