From research to practical application

VISIOcoach is solidly based on scientific research. The team around Professor Trauzettel-Klosinski has explored the possibilities to provide a home training for patients with hemianopia for many years.

The research unit for vision rehabilitation at the Tübingen Eye Clinic developed a software that enabled patients to train their own eye movements independently and at home. The software was designed to be simple and easy to handle, so that it was not too technically challenging for the patients. It was the goal of the training program to teach the patients to use eye movements in such a way that their residual vision helps them preceive their surroundings better and more quickly, which can compensate for the effects of the hemianopia to a large extent.

The proof that this procedure worked was documented in a randomized controlled study (Roth et al., 2009). Positive effects of the training could be seen even in patients whose hemianopia had persisted for several years. The study showed that the group, who had trained using VISIOcoach, improved in comparison to the group, who had used only a placebo flicker training: Their response times were shorter and their spatial orientation was improved. These improvements can affect the sense of security while walking and diminish the number of falls and bumping into people and objects.

VISIOcoach has been commercially avilable since 2010. In 2015, the University of Tübingen gave the distribution rights to VISUS, a company with a reputation of being a market leader in the field of vision training products.

A later study could show that the VISIOcoach training is also effective in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (Ivanov et al., 2016). Patients with RP suffer from a disease that constricts the visual field down to the very central region (so-called "tunnel vision"). The study found that VISIOcoach training also improves patients' responses in everyday life by making them faster and more secure.

We have recently developed VISIOcoach "Hemianopia Kids Personal", a version especially for children that will become available in 2017. The underlying study will be published in the near future.

References

1. Roth T, Sokolov AN, Messias A, Roth P, Weller M, Trauzettel-Klosinski S. (2009) Comparing explorative saccade and flicker training in hemianopia: a randomized controlled study. Neurology 72(4): 324-331.

2. Ivanov IV, Mackeben M, Vollmer A, Martus P, Nguyen NX, Trauzettel-Klosinski S (2016) Eye Movement Training and Suggested Gaze Strategies in Tunnel Vision - A Randomized and Controlled Pilot Study. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157825. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157825


The members of the team introduce themselves