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Filippo Maria Amore, valeria silvestri, Marco Sulfaro, Paola Piscopo, Paola Sasso; Evaluation of a wearable optical-digital assistive device with multiple applications for visually impaired. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):5173.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
People with low vision experience difficulties in daily living activities as reading, watching TV and use of internet. Assistive technologies have led to the development of many wearable aids for reading, orientation and mobility and face recognition purposes but none was developed with multiple applications. The Portable Personal Support Sight (PPSS) is a new wearable optical-digital assistive device developed to meet low vision patients’ needs as reading, watching TV and assess and use of internet. The aim of this study was to provide a preliminary evaluation of the PPSS device on real-world task. Moreover, patients’ usability and global impression of change were evaluated
Eleven subjects (Mean age: 64±19 years) with low vision due to different disease were enrolled. PPSS is a new device supporting multi-functionality as reading, vision of television, use of internet. PPSS main components are: a digital framework, digital channel TV, track pad to manage PPSS functions and an aid for reading. Participants were evaluated on four real-world tasks: reading, watching TV, recognizing money and internet access and use. A 7-item daily living activities was designed and use to evaluate participants’ functionality in 3 scenarios: with no aids, with low vision device and with PPSS. Moreover, System Usability Scale (SUS) and Patients’ Global impression of Change (PGIC) scale were collected
Total group mean total scores on the 7-item improved from a 0,90 (±1,37) using no aids to 3,9 (±1,44) (95% CI 0,8-0,4; p<0,01) using PPSS and 6,27 (±0,9) (95% CI, 0,8-0,6; p<0,01) with device. Patients reported to appreciate the multi-functionality features of the PPSS; in particular TV functionality was appreciated by 73% of patients. 82% of participants defined the PPSS poor while the 18% OK/fair at the SUS because of the small range of magnification. “Somewhat better” was reported by the 46% of participants at the PGIC scale
The results of this preliminary study show that PPSS device could be a potentially useful and interactive tool for low vision patients because of its multi-functionality features that low vision aids not have. Some enhancements have to be made in order to completely meet the patients’ needs. Further evaluations are warranted to determine the benefits between a large cohort of patients with low vision and visual impairment
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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