Eye tracking and virtual reality in the rehabilitation of mobility of hemianopia patients: A user experience study

Birte Gestefeld, Jan Koopman, Anne Vrijling, Frans Cornelissen, Gera de Haan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: To test the usability of eye tracking and virtual reality during vision rehabilitation training of hemianopia patients.

Methods: Individuals with hemianopia (n = 13) and normal-sighted controls (n = 4) performed various exercises that are commonly used in vision rehabilitation for mobility, while wearing a head-mounted eye tracker or a head-mounted virtual reality (VR) display. Occupational therapists (n = 4) guided them through the exercises. All participants (including therapists) filled out a questionnaire, assessing their experience with the used device. Individuals with hemianopia were split into three groups according to their stage in vision rehabilitation therapy and performed 1 (beginner), 2 (intermediate) or 3 (advanced) different exercises.

Results: Individuals with hemianopia rated the mobile eye tracker with a score of 3.97 ± 0.5 points (beginner), 3.8 ± 0.5 points (intermediate) and 4 ± 0 points (advanced) the corresponding occupational therapists with a score of 3.6 ± 0.6, 3.4 ± 0.9 and 3.87 ± 0.6 points (out of a maximum of 4 points). The VR headset was rated with 3.9 ± 0.5 points by individuals with hemianopia, 3.8 ± 0.5 points by normal-sighted controls and 2.5 ± 1.4 points by the occupational therapist in a virtual hallway scenario. In a street-crossing scenario, it was rated with 3.7 ± 0.5 points by individuals with hemianopia, 3.7 ± 0.8 points by controls and 2.8 ± 1.2 by occupational therapists. In a walking along a pavement scenario the individual with hemianopia gave 4 ± 0 points and the controls 3.8 ± 0.4 points on average.

Conclusions: Both devices were seen as useful additions to vision rehabilitation therapy, as they enable better feedback to patients and the opportunity to do different exercises at different levels of difficulty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalVision Rehabilitation International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020

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