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Wearable Devices Allows Risk Free Mobility to Blind

A recently published study indicates advantageous application of wearable Devices for the visually impaired people. The study suggests that utilization of these Devices can successfully reduce the risk of collisions. Blind or the visually impaired people often use a long cane or a guide dog to help them navigate.

Visually compromised people are exposed to greater risks of collisions and falls. The commonly used mobility aids even though considered to be useful, do have their own set of limitations. There are multiple electronic Devices in the market aiding mobility for the consumers. These marketed products claim to have full potential to warn wearers of any hinderances in their path. However, there exists less evidence of their actual functional utility. This trial applies nuances to the previously conducted studies. It observes the potential benefits of using these Devices at home, and outside a controlled environment.

The study is spearheaded by vision rehabilitation researchers at the Mass Eye and Ear. It was published on July 22 in the JAMA Ophthalmology. The new device used during the trials was developed by Dr. Luo accompanied with his colleagues at his vision rehabilitation lab. Shrinivas Pundlik, PhD, the lead author of the study designed the computer vision algorithm.

31 blind, and visually impaired adults participated in the study who have only used a long cane or a guide dog as their mobility assist in the past. The candidates were first trained to use the device correctly, and then were monitored for a month. The device displayed an active mode and a silent mode.

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