Wearable collision warning device helps visually impaired individuals

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A wearable collision warning device reduced the rates of collisions with daily obstacles in individuals who are visually impaired, according to a study.

In this double-masked randomized clinical trial, 31 participants used a collision warning device involving a chest-mounted video camera that detects collision hazards during a 4 week period. While in active mode the device would alert wearers of potential collisions and while in silent mode the device would still detect collision but not alert wearers.

Of the 31 participants, 61% had a visual acuity (VA) of light perception or worse, and 90% utilized a long cane as their usual mobility aid.

The median number of contacts was 9.3 in the active mode compared with 13.8 in the silent mode. The rate of contacts was significantly reduced in the active mode compared with the silent mode.

Pundlik S, Baliutaviciute V, Moharrer M, et al. Home-Use Evaluation of a Wearable Collision Warning Device for Individuals With Severe Vision Impairments: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2021; doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.2624

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