Artificial vision: the effectiveness of the OrCam in patients with advanced inherited retinal dystrophies

Xuan Thanh An Nguyen, Jan Koopman, Maria M. van Genderen, Henk L.M. Stam, Camiel J.F. Boon*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the impact of the OrCam MyEye 2.0 (OrCam) on the quality of life and rehabilitation needs in patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or cone-rod dystrophies (CRD). The OrCam is a wearable low-vision aid that converts visual information to auditive feedback (e.g. text-to-speech, barcode and facial recognition). Methods: Patients with a clinical diagnosis of RP (n = 9, 45%) or CRD (n = 11; 55%), and a best-corrected visual acuity of ≤20/400 Snellen were invited to participate in this study. Questionnaires were administered at baseline and after 5.2 (standard deviation ± 1.5) weeks, which included the Dutch version of the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ), the Participation and Activity Inventory (PAI) and the OrCam Function Questionnaire (OFQ). Results: Following OrCam testing, significant improvements were observed in the ‘near activities’ subscale of the NEI-VFQ (p < 0.001); the ‘visual functioning’ subscale of the re-engineered NEI-VFQ (p = 0.001); the ‘reading’ rehabilitation goal of the PAI (p = 0.005) and the overall score of the OFQ (p < 0.001). The observed changes in questionnaire scores did not differ between phenotypes. Advantages and limitations of the OrCam were reported by patients. Three patients (15%) continued rehabilitation with the OrCam after completion of this study. Conclusions: The OrCam mainly improves reading domains in patients with advanced stages of RP or CRD. Further improvements in the OrCam are needed to address current limitations, which may enhance its utility for patients with RP or CRD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e986-e993
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • cone-rod dystrophies
  • low vision
  • OrCam
  • quality of life
  • retinitis pigmentosa
  • visual aids

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