Vivid Vision offers a virtual reality based treatment for lazy eye disorders. Optometrists have been able to use the company’s treatment in their practice since 2015; this week Vivid Vision announced a new offering for the hardware/software-based eye-treatment that extends lazy eye treatment to the home.
Founded by James Blaha in 2013, Vivid Vision (formerly called Diplopia) is a virtual reality treatment for lazy eye disorders—characterized by both eyes not cooperating normally to achieve sharp, binocular vision. The treatment—which pairs VR headsets with special software to help patient’s eyes learn how to work correctly together—is now available in more than 100 eye clinics, according to Vivid Vision.
This week the company announced the Vivid Vision Home offering which extends treatment into patient’s homes. This is still an optometrist-prescribed treatment, meaning you can’t simply download it for your home VR headset, however the in-home option allows for more convenient and flexible treatment, hopefully increasing the rate of success. Vivid Vision CTO Dr. Brian Dornbos calls the in-home treatment “a practice magnifier because it’s a great supplement for in-office treatment.”
Vivid Vision claims their treatment is effective for amblyopia, strabismus, and convergence insufficiency. It works by increasing visual stimulation to the weak eye, while decreasing stimulation in the dominant eye (this is achieved with relative ease in a VR headset thanks to the device naturally showing separate images to each eye). This is done under the guise of immersive VR games where the player sees important game cues in their weak eye, leading their brain to lean more heavily on the information coming from that eye. Here’s a look at how the games are played:
A study on Vivid Vision’s VR lazy eye treatment, published back in June in the peer-reviewed BioMed Journal of Ophthalmology, finds positive preliminary results which “indicate the potential for a new treatment for adulthood amblyopia.” The VR-based treatment is an alternative to other lazy eye therapies like eye patches and eye drops.
Eye doctors offering the Vivid Vision Home treatment asses patients at their practice to see if the treatment is suitable, and, if so, prescribe the software-based treatment which can run on the Rift, Vive, and Gear VR headsets. Doctors can then remotely monitor the patient’s progress.