Lazy eye therapy by virtual reality gaming

Validation and development of new dichoptic VR-gamingmethod to treat childhood amblyopia (VAT)

This project aims to improve the quality of life of children who undergo treatment of amblyopia (or lazy eye). Vedea Amblyopia Therapy (VAT) is a novel virtual reality gaming system that will be optimised and evaluated in a collaboration between Vedea and the Rotterdam Eye Hospital.

3-5% of children in the Western world have amblyopia, popularly referred to as "lazy eye". People with amblyopia have difficulty with the perception of depth and forming 3D-models of the world around them. The current treatment is occlusion: masking the good eye for a number of hours per day, often over a period of multiple years. A major drawback of this treatment is that the child instantly becomes visually impaired during patching.This reduces the child's quality of life. Faithfully maintaining the therapy is therefore not easy and this can be seen in the adherence (<50%).

Based on an increased understanding of the cortical processes underlying amblyopia, new treatment approaches have been studied. These new approaches are based on simultaneous binocular visual stimulation and aim to improve visual acuity in the amblyopic eye, but also promote binocularity. Efforts are being made to make these treatments appealing to children. VAT combines mobile VR technology with an extensive gaming library. By playing adapted games and exercises, the "lazy eye" is activated. Studies show that this treatment is faster and more effective than occlusion. VAT aims to shorten the total treatment process while reducing daily therapy from hours per day to 30 minutes.The VAT project is set out to prove that this approach is superior to occlusion therapy and that the Quality of Life of children with amblyopia might be significantly improved.

The conventional treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye), which affects 3-5% of children, by patching the good eye has poor compliance due to adverse psychosocial effects.This project aims to improve treatment of amblyopia by replacing patching by custom-built virtual reality gaming.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
3 - 7
Time period
14 months