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Sony to adapt PlayStation 3 titles to treat lazy eye in children

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May 7, 2013

Doubtless they'll be trading in their 360 controllers for DualShocks before long (Photo: N...

Doubtless they'll be trading in their 360 controllers for DualShocks before long (Photo: Nottingham Hospitals NHS Trust)

Scientists from Nottingham have announced that they've drafted in some expert help with I-BiT, a research project seeking to treat lazy eye with video games and specially designed 3D glasses. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is to adapt some popular PlayStation 3 titles as part of the ongoing project.

The standard treatment of lazy eye (or amblyopia) requires children to wear an eye patch over their good eye for hundreds of hours. According to project leader Alex Foss of Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, the treatment can be ineffective, in part because children are reluctant to actually wear the patch. Video games, being fun, are a very different story, and Foss reports that "a marked improvement has been seen after only a few half-hour sessions."

The child wears a pair of so-called shutter glasses. The good eye is shown static content, such as the background, whereas the eye in need of treatment is shown the dynamic stuff going on in the foreground. The player perceives a single unified image.

The Wellcome Trust is funding clinical trials of the technology, which it's hoped will be used at opticians and eye clinics, and eventually, perhaps, distributed for use at home.

"The development of games and other technologies by Sony will take the I-BiT project to a new level," said Sue Cobb, an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham. "We are all very excited about the potential impact that this will have in improving the treatment of amblyopia."

The research is being carried out by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

Source: University of Nottingham

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
9 Comments

Did anyone notice the kid is holding an xbox controller? lol

Christoffer Thor Wang Sperling
7th May, 2013 @ 02:57 pm PDT

All this talk of PS3 while the child has an Xbox controller.

Elijah Sherv
7th May, 2013 @ 04:16 pm PDT

This is a cool idea, i'v never heard of this problem before or how its treated. If this turns out to be a good way to treat it, that would be very cool.

Arahant
7th May, 2013 @ 05:40 pm PDT

Regardless of controller, this could make a huge difference in people's lives.

Racqia Dvorak
7th May, 2013 @ 05:43 pm PDT

I alluded to this being an Xbox controller in the image caption, but didn't elaborate in the article because I'm yet to receive confirmation on the process to date. I assume the researchers thus far have been using self-developed games, which may be easier to run on an Xbox given the community development tools available, or a PC with an Xbox controller connected.

James Holloway
7th May, 2013 @ 11:36 pm PDT

Sound like a very good idea. One of my identical twin daughters has a lazy eye. When she is without her glasses she tends to squint.

She had to wear the patch for a while, but it didn't help all that much. Another treatment which a specialist tried was eye-drops in the good eye, causing it to lose focus. The idea is that the lazy has to compensate for the loss of the good eye. This also did not help that much.

Yet another optometrist with years of experience gave us a few exercises to train the eye with. This did help a bit. He had a few exercises with Red & Green lenses, for example she had to colour-in a green picture, while wearing a green lens on the good eye. Another idea was to cover the TV with a coloured filter, only allowing the lazy eye to see the picture.

Given the intense movement of the eye when playing a computer game, I am sure this will definitely help. Keep up the good work!

Riaanh
8th May, 2013 @ 04:35 am PDT

I developed amblyopia at about age 6, and wore glasses until about 13, but it did not help. It's nice to see a solution that really works.

Cpat
8th May, 2013 @ 01:26 pm PDT

My daughter has amblyopia. I would love to try this with her.

Joanne Minor Havran
14th September, 2013 @ 04:01 pm PDT

my son who is around 12 years has the same problem of lazy eye so please some one please let me know where i can buy this game either online or anywhere in india he ha longs been told to wear a patch for all day.

Aman Gupta
31st March, 2014 @ 06:57 pm PDT
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