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Clinical Trial
, 121 Suppl 2 (0 2), S17-35

Controlling Motion Sickness and Spatial Disorientation and Enhancing Vestibular Rehabilitation With a User-Worn See-Through Display

Affiliations
Clinical Trial

Controlling Motion Sickness and Spatial Disorientation and Enhancing Vestibular Rehabilitation With a User-Worn See-Through Display

Wesley W O Krueger. Laryngoscope.

Abstract

Objectives/hypotheses: An eyewear mounted visual display ("User-worn see-through display") projecting an artificial horizon aligned with the user's head and body position in space can prevent or lessen motion sickness in susceptible individuals when in a motion provocative environment as well as aid patients undergoing vestibular rehabilitation. In this project, a wearable display device, including software technology and hardware, was developed and a phase I feasibility study and phase II clinical trial for safety and efficacy were performed.

Study design: Both phase I and phase II were prospective studies funded by the NIH. The phase II study used repeated measures for motion intolerant subjects and a randomized control group (display device/no display device) pre-posttest design for patients in vestibular rehabilitation.

Methods: Following technology and display device development, 75 patients were evaluated by test and rating scales in the phase II study; 25 subjects with motion intolerance used the technology in the display device in provocative environments and completed subjective rating scales, whereas 50 patients were evaluated before and after vestibular rehabilitation (25 using the display device and 25 in a control group) using established test measures.

Results: All patients with motion intolerance rated the technology as helpful for nine symptoms assessed, and 96% rated the display device as simple and easy to use. Duration of symptoms significantly decreased with use of the technology displayed. In patients undergoing vestibular rehabilitation, there were no significant differences in amount of change from pre- to posttherapy on objective balance tests between display device users and controls. However, those using the technology required significantly fewer rehabilitation sessions to achieve those outcomes than the control group.

Conclusions: A user-worn see-through display, utilizing a visual fixation target coupled with a stable artificial horizon and aligned with user movement, has demonstrated substantial benefit for individuals susceptible to motion intolerance and spatial disorientation and those undergoing vestibular rehabilitation. The technology developed has applications in any environment where motion sensitivity affects human performance.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: The author has a financial interest in AdviTech, Inc., the commercial company that will market the technology developed and described in this research report.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
1st generation showing laptop computer, headband with see-through eye piece and helmet with positioning sensor (i.e. accelerometer) attached on top.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Generation 2 of device development with helmet-mounted sensor and worn computer/ battery pack
Figure 3
Figure 3
Generation 3 with the elimination of helmet and having mounting of positioning sensor (accelerometer) on headband.
Figure 4
Figure 4
4th Generation of display device development, with head-mounted design.
Figure 5
Figure 5
5th generation of display device with accelerometer in the mounting and also showing the lightweight, wearable power supply and computer for using the software technology.
Figure 6
Figure 6
6th generation with the accelerometer incorporated in the mounting.

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