VR program exhibits folks what imaginative and prescient loss from diabetes seems like

A digital actuality program designed to coach folks in regards to the impacts of imaginative and prescient loss is being expanded to focus on sufferers with diabetes, with assist from specialists on the College of Alberta.

Edmonton-based KOVR, a part of KO Group video manufacturing, introduced the discharge of a brand new VR software program platform referred to as Stratos, together with training software program referred to as the Diabetic Retinopathy Module. This system, developed together with researchers within the U of A’s Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, offers sufferers real-life examples of imaginative and prescient loss as a result of retina injury attributable to diabetes and emphasizes the significance of standard eye exams.

A brand new digital actuality training program offers folks with diabetes a sensible simulation of how the illness can have an effect on their imaginative and prescient—on this case, exhibiting lack of central imaginative and prescient. Picture credit score: KOVR

“The primary challenge we heard from physicians was how they might extra successfully educate their sufferers on the detrimental impression their diabetes can have on their imaginative and prescient and the elevated dangers of not having common eye exams for stopping and treating imaginative and prescient loss,” mentioned Robert Lennon, KO Group’s president and artistic director.

“KOVR has been lucky that our U of A colleagues have embraced VR and see the potential for this increasing expertise,” Lennon added. “The shut collaboration has been important in creating this groundbreaking expertise for diabetic retinopathy sufferers.”

The brand new module was developed with enter from specialists together with Karim Damji, chair of the U of A ophthalmology division and lead ophthalmologist with the Eye Institute of Alberta, and his colleague Matt Tennant, a specialist who treats sufferers with diabetic retinopathy.

Damji had previously worked with KOVR to develop By way of the Wanting Glass, a VR program that provides gamers an immersive expertise of what folks with imaginative and prescient loss undergo as their eyesight will get progressively worse.

“This new program is de facto worthwhile as a result of it permits sufferers with diabetes to see how their imaginative and prescient is perhaps impacted from diabetes—and that acceptable screening and therapy can gradual or cease imaginative and prescient loss most often,” mentioned Tennant. “And what’s nice is that it matches into the context of the brand new diabetic eye-care pathway we’re engaged on by way of the Neuroscience, Rehabilitation and Vision and Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition strategic medical networks.”

“The Diabetic Retinopathy Module goes past any pamphlet or poster informing diabetic sufferers why listening to their eye well being is vital,” Damji mentioned. “Having the ability to present how their imaginative and prescient can deteriorate—and enabling them to expertise it in a simulated, digital actuality method—can higher instil in our diabetic sufferers how important it’s for them to frequently monitor their eye well being to forestall or mitigate future imaginative and prescient loss.”

KOVR mentioned a beta model of the Diabetic Retinopathy Module is seeing restricted testing from clinicians with the Eye Institute of Alberta, with a wider launch anticipated later in 2021.

Supply: University of Alberta

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