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W. I. Al-Atabany, P. Degenaar; Augmented Vision System for Retinal Dystrophies. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2204.
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In the UK it is estimated that over 25,000 families have RP, and on a World scale the number runs into millions. Also one in 2000 people in the developed world are affected by AMD. Among non-diabetics, it is the most common problem affecting the retina, and it is the major cause of legal blindness in individuals over the age of 65.There is currently no effective treatment to alter the natural history of the disorder, but a number of avenues are being explored: namely replacement of the retina with an artificial electronic eye, stem cells,retinal transplantation, and gene therapy. These are undergoing evaluation but none is ready for clinical use. Therefore it is important to try to develop visual aids to enhance what vision is still present.Our goal is to design an Augmented Reality (AR) based solution for people affected by retina dystrophy diseases, as patients can be aided by enhancing their knowledge of the environment with information obtained from a camera by image processing. Our system will involve an imaging system to capture the real world image, processing system that enhances the captured images and visual display to project the processed real world back to the patient.
We developed an AMD and RP simulators to simulate how the patients suffering from these diseases see the real world, these simulators are the initial step in the research. After that we developed a set of image enhancement algorithms (e.g. image edge detection, segmentation and transformation algorithms) based on the output of these simulators to enhance the visual scene of the patients.
Fig. 1 shows the results of the enhancement algorithms on a very dark image.
Developing visual aids is an important aspect of vision rehabilitation. One is always seeking guiding principles in the development of new devices and techniques. The image enhancement algorithms applied on the real scene offers the possibility to provide an image enhancement to RP and AMD patients
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