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V Swetha E. Jeganathan, Abigail Kumagai, Harleen Shergill, Michael Fetters, John Gosbee, Sayoko Eileen Moroi, James D Weiland, Joshua R Ehrlich; Design of Smart Head-Mounted Display Technology: A Qualitative Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):4036.
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There is growing evidence for the use of head-mounted display (HMD) technology to benefit individuals with low vision. Commercially-available HMD can be configured to provide functions such as magnification or contrast enhancement to assist persons with visual impairment (VI). However, research is needed to understand the range of functional impairments best addressed with these devices and HMD design considerations to better suit their needs. We explored the functional deficits, goals, and human factor considerations in adults with chronic eye disease that impact their perceptions and preferences for HMD.
Using a concurrent mixed-methods study design, participants were recruited from the Kellogg Eye Center who had self-identified VI and a diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or retinitis pigmentosa. Participants completed the Impact of Vision Impairment (IVI) questionnaire and were taught to use three commercially-available HMDs (eSight, NuEyes and Epson Moverio). The HMDs contain microdisplays positioned in front of the eye and use cameras to capture video. Semi-structured usability interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach in MAXQDA.
There were 20 participants [(mean age 53 years, 11 males, median Snellen acuity 20/40 [interquartile range 20/30-20/72.5]) in the study. Table 1 presents qualitative findings as a function of HMD preference. Among the three HMDs, ten participants showed an overall preference for the eSight [versus NuEyes (n=5) or Epson (n=4)], especially those >70 years and with central vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration. In evaluating HMD, participants emphasized ease of usability (especially of HMD controls and screen) as equally important as their visual improvement (Figure 1).
Qualitative interviewing proved beneficial for identifying features participants found problematic in usability testing. Results from this and future studies can inform the design of HMD tailored to the visual needs and usability concerns of individuals with VI.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
Table 1: Joint display table with IVI scores for reading/accessing information (range 0-3), where a higher score indicates less difficulty in the domain.
Figure 1: Reasons for HMD preference stratified by diagnosis.
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