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Leveraging residual vision to offset central vision loss: Insights from the research journey of a young start-up
Speaker: Sandra Starke PhD, Chief Scientific officer, GiveVision, Birmingham.
Sight loss is quickly becoming the next epidemic, with moderate sight loss or blindness estimated for around 700,000 people in the UK alone. While being rare in children, age-related conditions affect one in nine people over 60 and one in three people over 85 years. Most of these patients still have residual sight, but have to rely heavily on various coping strategies to use it for daily activities. While the low vision aid market remains largely stagnated in the 1980s, miniaturisation of technology such as that found in mobile phones means that we can now build small sight aids with displays close to the eye. This results in the opportunity to build multi-functional, high resolution displays for near- and far vision that can harness the power of computational image enhancements. This setup can leverage residual vision to an extent where patients can read small print and signs on a bus, despite central vision loss.
This talk looks at the research journey of start-up Give Vision, with a focus on vision science challenges, the open questions ahead and possibilities for better integrating academia and commercial development.