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Frank Werblin; Measuring the effectiveness of a portable low vision aid in restoring visual life to low vision users.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):933.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Wearable low vision aids are now becoming available at prices that make them more accessible to the general low vision population. This study measures the effectiveness of one of these aids IrisVision, in improving quality of life, assessing the viability of the device for long-term rehabilitation and measuring the ability of the device to induce functional and behavioral improvements in the daily lives of low vision users.
Methods: More than 5000 users have been fitted with the IrisVision visual aid. Subsets of these users were queried over the phone and via internet about their modes of use, preferences, time used, and areas of life changes initiated through use of their head-worn devices. Patients can be trained, monitored and directed via remote internet connectivity.
Results: 75 per cent of device users were men, even though in the general US population, 75 per cent of women comprise the general low vision population. More than three quarters of the users had vision worse than 20/200 with average near 20/400. 80 percent of users used the device for a minimum of 3 hours per day, while 25 per cent use it nearly full-time. 79 per cent used the device for seeing and recognizing detail in the visual environment, including facial expression, reading pill boxes, cutting toenails, reading newspapers and viewing on-line topics such as email, and news. 95 per cent used the device for viewing TV and other video activities including streaming video. 50 per cent of our patients continued to find new and novel uses for the device and spent 3 times more time using the device after becoming more familiar with the device after 7 weeks. Average age was 72 with users as old as 103. 30 per cent also report that their native vision (seeing without the aid of the device) is dramatically improved after using the device.
Conclusions: This device dramatically enhances quality of life for patients with AMD, RP and other dysfunctions. Patients become more confident, more socially connected, more courageous, and participate in activities that were not possible before using the device. Adolescents go back to school, mid-aged users go back to work, older users rejoin social groups.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
Patient being monitored and prescribed via internet on portable vision aid.
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