gms | German Medical Science

Artificial Vision 2013

The International Symposium on Visual Prosthetics

08.11. - 09.11.2013, Aachen

Elaborating a Rehabilitation Curriculum for Argus« II Retinal Prosthesis System Users

Meeting Abstract

  • Stefania Guerra - Second Sight Medical Products, SÓrl, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • F. Anaflous - Second Sight Medical Products, SÓrl, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • J. Dorn - Second Sight Medical Products, Inc, Sylmar, USA
  • D. Geruschat - The Maryland School for the Blind, Baltimore, USA
  • R. Greenberg - Second Sight Medical Products, Inc, Sylmar, USA

Artificial Vision 2013. Aachen, 08.-09.11.2013. DŘsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2014. Doc13artvis29

doi: 10.3205/13artvis29, urn:nbn:de:0183-13artvis291

Published: February 13, 2014

© 2014 Guerra et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

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Purpose: The purpose of this work was to develop an instructional curriculum for Argus« II Retinal Prosthesis System (Argus II) patients who have undergone successful implantation of the system in a commercial setting. In the clinical trial that supported approval of Argus II for commercial use in Europe, variability in functional outcomes was observed between subjects. Some of this variability was attributed to differences in subjects’ ability to integrate the input of the technology into their lives. We developed an instructional curriculum specifically designed to teach patients the foundational skills that are required to maximize the benefits of the Argus II technology.

Methods: During the clinical trial, we evaluated Argus II subjects’ functional vision with and without the System in real-world tasks. Based upon these experiences, we identified critical skills needed to successfully integrate the Argus II into users’ everyday lives within the context of the foundational blindness skills they already possess. Some of these skills are similar to other low vision rehabilitation techniques and some are unique to prosthetic vision. We then developed a curriculum and instructional kit to teach these skills and techniques to new patients.

Results: These experiences resulted in a curriculum that serves as a guide for the therapists who are providing the rehabilitation services and an instructional kit that provides standardized training tools. The curriculum follows commonly accepted low vision rehabilitation principles of visual skill acquisition by isolating skills, using materials that are designed to support the development of these skills, and finally strategies for implementing the technology into the homes and lifestyles of the patient. For example, patients and caregivers will learn the importance of illumination and contrast, how and why to modify the home environment to maximize visibility, how to effective use the Argus II System’s different image processing filters for different environments, and what types of activities can be practiced at home.

Conclusions: The purpose of this work is to support patients so they can maximize the benefit of the Argus II System. We believe that applying standard low vision rehabilitation principles to the development of visual skills with the Argus II System will offer the best opportunity for patients to optimize the benefits from this technology.