Project: Development of a new device for Infant Vision evaluation

1. Needs for evaluation of visual functions in infants_x000D__x000D_*General context_x000D_The evaluation of vision in young infants (notably at non-verbal age) reCOs a major challenge for health care professionals. This evaluation is important for ensuring the detection and management of risk of abnormal visual development at the earliest possible stage. Besides, evaluation techniques used for adults are not suitable, due to the lack of cooperation and short attention span of infants, and current specific techniques for infants, lack of accuracy and reliability_x000D__x000D_*Visual alterations affecting infants are numerous and highly disabling _x000D_-The most frequent visual alterations occurring in infants are refractive errors, strabismus and amblyopia, all three with prevalence higher than 1%. Amblyopia is a loss of vision that cannot be corrected by optical means. It is mostly the consequence of asymmetric refractive errors or strabismus that alters visual stimulation to the cortex, hence inducing an abnormal development of the visual cortex. If detected at an early stage, amblyopia can usually be treated. However, it is difficult to recover fully normal vision if it is not detected during a critical period of development occurring during the first months of life. Because of its high prevalence and possibility for a cure, there is a need for screening amblyopia and/or its most frequent causes (refractive error and strabismus). Moreover, once screened, these problems need a deeper evaluation and a follow-up during treatment_x000D_-Several diseases with lower prevalence such as congenital cataracts, delayed maturation, nystagmus or retinitis pigmentosa, would also require an early detection and care_x000D_-Some groups of infants, such as premature babies or infants receiving a treatment for epilepsy (vigabatrim), have a high risk of developing visual problems and would need an early evaluation and follow-up of visual functions_x000D__x000D_*Stakes_x000D_Infant screening is particularly important due to the medical (sensorimotor development) and social (initiation to reading and writing) outcomes that can ensue from unknown visual troubles. Besides, visual deficiencies can testify of heavier pathologies such as cerebral tumor, retinoblastoma or albinism. Experts advise thus to include a systematic visual screening in the follow-up of infants. In France, out of 800 000 children born each year, about 40 000 could avoid major visual problems if they were detected and treated at an early stage. _x000D__x000D_2. Limitations in the evaluation tools_x000D_The techniques currently available to the clinic still present important limitations. There is thus a general demand from health care professionals for new tools allowing the evaluation of vision in infants._x000D__x000D_3. Technical applications_x000D_The InVisio project aims to develop recently available photonic technologies to provide new tools for the clinical evaluation of infant visual acuity, visual field and binocular functions._x000D_Photonic technologies have made enormous progress during the recent years, and approaches previously limited to research laboratories can now be made available to the clinic._x000D_Two particular aspects will be considered:_x000D_-Development of an autostereoscopic visual stimulation module allowing dichoptic or single-eye stimulation without physical constraints such as glasses or patches _x000D_-Adaptation of a head/eye-tracking module for clinical use on infants._x000D_Both modules will be integrated into one device allowing the evaluation of visual acuity, visual field and binocular vision with both behavioural and electrophysiology techniques. Its efficiency in testing infant vision will be validated at clinical level. _x000D__x000D_4. Market applications_x000D_Based on the products developed, two principal markets will be targeted:_x000D_-the vision evaluation market will concern more specifically hospitals, clinics, research laboratories…_x000D_-the autostereoscopic display market will concern all types of professional high-end desktop applications, for which the stereoscopic depth cue significantly improves the perception and comprehension of displayed information. The sectors of the entertainment and of the audio-visual can be interested in such a technology. For example, it could be applied in the recent 3D Blue Ray technology. Other scientific areas like geophysicists or other medical specialities could be concerned too._x000D__x000D_5. Consortium_x000D_It is composed of 2 Ps from 2 European countries (France & Germany) and with complementary expertise: _x000D_- Metrovision (MV-SME, France) will share its background related to the conception, manufacturing and marketing of vision testing instruments for the ophthalmology and optometry markets for the development of the global device. It will also manage the clinical trials and coordinate the project _x000D_- The Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI-research organization, Germany) will bring its knowledge in the most recent display technologies and will be responsible for the development of the autostereoscopic display and associated software _x000D_

Acronym InVisio (Reference Number: 6034)
Duration 01/09/2011 - 31/08/2015
Project Topic InVisio will develop new tools for the clinical evaluation of infant visual functions using recent photonic technologies in autostereoscopy and eye tracking. The consortium includes 2 Ps with complementary expertise in manufacturing medical devices, technological research and ophthalmology.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The initial goal of the project was to develop new tools for the clinical evaluation of visual functions in infants using photonic technologies combining autostereoscopy and eye tracking. A first prototype combining an autostereoscopic display with a binocular eye tracker as well as tests for visual acuity and visual field has been developed. _x000D_An additional technology was developed for recording and replaying videos from the eye tracker in synchrony with the examination processes in order to analyze the behavior of young infants and identify the limits of the prototype. _x000D_Clinical tests have been performed on young infants (ages ranging from 2 months up to 7 years) with various pathologies. 33 patients have been tested with visual pursuit and 68 with visual field._x000D_First CO result of the project: at present, the use of autostereoscopy to achieve dichoptic(1) stimulations in young children is insufficiently reliable for clinical applications. _x000D_Second CO result: the new visual acuity and interactive visual field tests combined with synchronized video recording are found to be useful for the clinical evaluation of children. This new technology finds other clinical applications for the evaluation of patients who cannot perform reliably automated perimetry (about 20 percent of the population) _x000D_(1) dichoptic stimulation: stimulation of each eye independently
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 5

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. Partner Germany
2 Metrovision SAS Coordinator France