New device may increase independence for visually impaired

Innovega’s eMacula system, pairing smart contact lenses (CLs) with display eyewear, has demonstrated positive results with partially sighted people going about their daily tasks, including reading, smartphone use and distance vision, new research found.  


The system combines spectacle-mounted micro digital displays with personalised iOptik smart contact lenses to enhance vision with magnification and image modification.  


Ohio State University’s (OSU) study, evaluated the system’s usefulness for near and distance visual tasks with nine visually impaired participants recruited from the OSU Low Vision Rehabilitation Service.  


Findings showed that visual acuity was improved in each eye tested. Study participants also rated the comfort of the smart contact lenses at an average of 7.1 on a scale of one (poor) to 10 (excellent) and 75% felt the device would likely improve performance on tasks of daily living and increase their independence. 


“The results of the evaluation of the Innovega CL-enabled wearable display system support the potential to provide the wide field of view required when magnifying content along with high resolution and control of brightness and contrast for visually impaired users,” said co-investigator Dr Bradley Dougherty, associate professor at OSU’s College of Optometry.  


Following the clinical trials for regulatory clearance of the iOptik contact lenses with the fully sighted, Innovega said it will continue its clinical evaluation with visually impaired subjects.  


The research was presented in a scientific poster during the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).  


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