Purpose: The conventional patching/occlusion treatment for amblyopia sometimes gives disappointing results for a number of reasons: it is unpopular, prolonged, frequently resulting in poor or noncompliance, and also disrupts fusion. The aim of this research was to develop a novel virtual-reality (VR)-based display system that facilitates the treatment of amblyopia with both eyes stimulated simultaneously.
Methods: We have adopted a multidisciplinary approach, combining VR expertise with a team of ophthalmologists and orthoptists to develop the Interactive Binocular Treatment (I-BiT) system. This system incorporates adapted VR technology and specially written software providing interactive 2D and 3D games and videos to the patient via a stereo (binocular) display, and a control screen for the clinician.
Results: We developed a prototype research system designed for treatment of amblyopia in children.
Conclusions: The result is a novel way to treat amblyopia, which allows binocular treatment. It is interactive, and as it is partially software based, can be adapted to suit the age/ability, and needs of the patient. This means that the treatment can be made captivating and enjoyable. Further research is on-going to determine the efficacy of this new modality in the treatment of amblyopia.