Low Vision clinical trials at University of California Health
3 research studies open to eligible people
open to eligible people ages 18 years and up
The successful application of magnification devices for reading and daily tasks is predicated on their correct use by individuals with low vision (LV). Barriers related to transportation, geography, and/or co-morbidities often limit LV patients' ability to attend several in-office training sessions as part of low vision rehabilitation (LVR) to optimize visual function with magnification devices. A promising solution is real-time videoconferencing to provide telerehabilitation, involving remotely delivered LVR services by a LVR provider in office to a patient at home. Telerehabilitation for LV appears to be feasible and acceptable by both patients and LVR providers, yet there are no published outcomes on the potential to improve patients' visual functioning. Another key issue in LVR is the need for an effective system to continually assess how patients are functioning at home. Ideally this would involve a non-invasive, efficient method to assess when magnifier device abandonment occurs, so that a timely telerehabilitation session can be initiated. Small Bluetooth low energy beacon sensors attached to the handles of magnifiers can collect real-time data regarding minute-to-minute environmental changes, which might serve as an indicator of magnifier use by LV patients at home. Specifically, the investigators propose to assess the potential for telerehabilitation to enhance visual function by providing remotely-delivered LVR training to use magnification devices. Following one in-office training session for new magnification device(s), the investigators aim to determine if there is additional gain in visual functioning by randomizing subjects to telerehabilitation or additional in-office LVR (active control). Participants will be assessed before and after two consecutive periods: (1) one month after a single LVR training session, followed by (2) up to three LVR sessions over a three month period either via telerehabilitation in the participants' homes or LVR in-office. The investigators will determine which patient characteristics and/or magnification devices are most likely to benefit from telerehabilitation. The investigators will also determine whether data from Bluetooth beacon sensors are valid indicators of hand-held magnifier device usage by LV patients at home. The study investigators will deploy Estimote Sticker beacon sensors to subjects randomized to telerehabilitation or additional in-office LVR during the same study period. It is anticipated that beacon sensors will measure significantly increased temperature and/or motion when placed on the part of the magnification device held by LV patients while performing daily activities. Beacon sensor data will determine if it is feasible to assess when magnification devices are used, and if the frequency of magnifier use changes following telerehabilitation or in-office LVR. This work will evaluate and refine the procedures for implementing these technologies for LVR, in order to develop future randomized controlled trial protocols. The investigators envision that telerehabilitation and beacon sensors could improve LV patient outcomes by providing follow-up LVR services in a more efficient and timely manner.
open to eligible people ages 55 years and up
Study is a randomized clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of novel mobile application technologies (including Seeing AI, Aira, and Supervision+) to improve quality of life in older adults with low vision by expanding community access and providing assistance with activities of daily living. Aira provides real-time remote personal assistance through a sighted Aira agent supplying direct feedback to assist with visual tasks. Seeing AI provides optical character recognition allowing any text to be read aloud, color identification, bar code reading, scene description, and facial recognition based on stored photos. Supervision + allows one to use the phone as a magnifier, providing magnification and contrast enhancement using the camera of the mobile phone. This study seeks to understand the potential of these technologies to improve daily activities, community participation, independence, and self-sufficiency in this group by examining a technological approach, which has not yet undergone rigorous investigation in a diverse population of older adults with visual impairment. Project objectives are to evaluate mobile applications in a wide range of visual disability, categorized into three groups: (1) mild to moderate visual acuity loss, (2) severe to profound visual acuity loss, and (3) legal blindness secondary to visual field loss. Participants are randomized to one of three intervention groups: (1) Supervision+ application, (2) Aira application, or (3) Seeing AI application for a period of 6 months. For the Aira intervention group, participants will be assigned either with 'restricted' access (current open access areas plus 30 minutes/month anywhere), or 'unrestricted' access (700 minutes), for a period of 3 months with a 3 month cross-over period. Participants may elect to continue the study for an additional 3 months during which time they have access to all 3 study mobile applications. Outcome measures include assessment of changes at three, six and nine months post-intervention for: visual ability, health state (including depression), self-efficacy, loneliness, life space, distances travelled from the home, and types of services obtained.
open to eligible people ages 18 years and up
The aims of this exploratory research project are to customize, deploy and evaluate the preliminary efficacy of a socially assistive robot as a novel approach to motivate and encourage optimal, long-term use of new magnification devices for reading in individuals with vision loss. The goals are to promote patient acceptance, adherence and skills reinforcement to achieve proficiency in the use of the magnifier, in order to attempt to reduce visual disability while performing important daily activities, such as reading tasks. This is a high priority given the increasing prevalence of low vision, paucity of low vision rehabilitation providers, and barriers related to access to care, such as transportation and geography, all of which motivate the development of this complementary approach for the provision of additional support at home by the socially assistive robot.
Our lead scientists for Low Vision research studies include Ava K Bittner, OD, PhD.