Improving Spatial Orientation and Independence through Eye Movement Training
Permanent deficits of the visual field:
- Hemianopia (through stroke or tumor)
• "VISIOcoach Hemianopia Personal"
• "VISIOcoach Hemianopia Kids Personal"
- Tunnel vision (through degenerative retinal diseases, e.g. retinitis pigmentosa [RP])
• "VISIOcoach RP Personal"
This is the first training program that can be used independently at home, even without previous computer knowledge.
Its efficacy has been proven scientifically (see the reports from 2009 and 2016).
The way it works and the effects
The goal is better utilization of the entire field of gaze by using explorative (searching) eye movements into the blind part of the visual field. This encourages scanning eye movements to gather information about objects in the blind part of the field. This leads to better spatial orientation in hemianopia and RP, which enhances independence and the quality of life.
The training is directed by software that repeatedly presents search tasks to the patient. The measured variable is the response time that is necessary to find each object. The same is true in children who use a kid-adequate set of symbols.
The method is evidence-based and has been tested in randomized, controlled studies: A clear improvement occured after six weeks and persisted after the end of the training. This shows that the newly learned strategies could be transferred into everyday life. The training is also effective for patients who have had hemianopia for a long time.
Patients can use it independently at home. The detailed manual explains the mode of operation. Special aid by a therapist or a specially trained professional can be added as needed.