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BrainPort ® Vision Device: Updates Marshall Flax 1, Aimee Arnoldussen 2 1 Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Madison, WI; 2 Wicab, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "BrainPort ® Vision Device: Updates Marshall Flax 1, Aimee Arnoldussen 2 1 Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Madison, WI; 2 Wicab, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 BrainPort ® Vision Device: Updates Marshall Flax 1, Aimee Arnoldussen 2 1 Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Madison, WI; 2 Wicab, Inc. Middleton, WI SummaryBackground Funding Support: Defense Medical Research and Development Program (DMRDP) DM For more information: The BrainPort V100 is a non-surgical assistive device intended for orientation, mobility, object identification, and spot reading by individuals who are blind. It translates digital information from a video camera into gentle electrical stimulation patterns on the surface of the tongue. Users feel moving bubble-like patterns on their tongue which they learn to interpret as the shape, size, location and motion of objects in their environment. The BrainPort V100 is intended to augment rather than replace other assistive technologies such as the white cane or dog guide. Training Object Recognition Nine profoundly blind subjects participated ranging in age from The etiologies of vision impairment included ROP, diabetic retinopathy, LCA, RP and cancer. All subjects were unable to perform a computerized acuity test (FrACT) with only residual eye-based vision. There was no limit to the duration of a subject’s prior exposure to BrainPort vision device technology. Four subjects had prior BrainPort exposure (between 3 months and 2 years since prior exposure), five subjects were new. Five signs were placed in a 15 foot hallway and subjects were asked to find and touch the target sign across five signs with five minutes. Three objects were placed on a table and subjects were asked to identify and touch the requested item across 10 trials. A training program is used by a sighted trainer to teach the skills needed for effective use of the device. The training program progresses from simple to more complex activities and includes proficiency assessments of acquired skills. Results of the proficiency assessments are used to pace the progression of training activities to a rate appropriate for an individual user. Object Recognition ResponseReach Task Percent Correct n=9 Success Threshold 9/9 subjects passed Success Threshold 9/9 subjects passed Orientation and Mobility Is this vision? It is more like a 400 point refreshable Braille display from which the user learns to interpret the bubble-like patterns on their tongue as representative of objects in their surroundings. Who are appropriate candidates? The technology works best for individuals who have no useful vision (light perception or no light perception), have already completed traditional blind rehabilitation programs, and are committed to training and practice. What does stimulation feel like? Electrical stimulation can best be described as sparkling water or vibrations on the tongue. The user controls the strength of the signal to maintain a comfortable sensation. How long is training? Training requires a minimum of 10 hours with a certified instructor. Users typically improve their device skills and abilities with practice. Many users benefit from additional professional training at regular intervals. Is it commercially available? No, the technology is not commercially available at this time. The company is conducting a clinical trial for an FDA approval in the United States and is seeking CE-mark clearance for selling in Europe and Canada. Are we recruiting for studies? We are not actively recruiting at this time. Interested participants can contact us for updated information. Results Object Recognition All nine subjects were able to correctly report the location (mean 98%; SE 1%) and touch (mean 96%; SE 2%) the requested object. Orientation and Mobility All 9 subjects found the location of at least two signs independently in under five minutes per sign. 6/9 subjects were able to correctly identify the location of all five signs in the hallway. 5/9 subjects were able to find each sign in under five minutes.


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