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Are wearable electronic vision enhancement systems (wEVES) beneficial for people with age-related macular degeneration? A scoping review

Miller, Andrew; Crossland, Michael D; Macnaughton, Jane; Latham, Keziah; (2023) Are wearable electronic vision enhancement systems (wEVES) beneficial for people with age-related macular degeneration? A scoping review. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics 10.1111/opo.13117. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment in the United Kingdom. It has a wide-ranging detrimental impact on daily living, including impairment of functional ability and quality of life. Assistive technology designed to overcome this impairment includes wearable electronic vision enhancement systems (wEVES). This scoping review assesses the usefulness of these systems for people with AMD. METHODS: Four databases (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane CENTRAL) were searched to identify papers that investigated image enhancement with a head-mounted electronic device on a sample population that included people with AMD. RESULTS: Thirty-two papers were included: 18 studied the clinical and functional benefits of wEVES, 11 investigated use and usability and 3 discussed sickness and adverse effects. CONCLUSIONS: Wearable electronic vision enhancement systems provide hands-free magnification and image enhancement producing significant improvements in acuity, contrast sensitivity and aspects of laboratory-simulated daily activity. Adverse effects were infrequent, minor and spontaneously resolved with the removal of the device. However, when symptoms arose, they sometimes persisted with continued device usage. There are multi-factorial influences and a diversity of user opinions on promotors to successful device use. These factors are not exclusively driven by visual improvement and incorporate other issues including device weight, ease of use and inconspicuous design. There is insufficient evidence of any cost-benefit analysis for wEVES. However, it has been shown that a user's decision to make a purchase evolves over time, with their estimates of cost falling below the retail price of the devices. Additional research is needed to understand the specific and distinct benefits of wEVES for people with AMD. Further patient-centred research should assess the benefits of wEVES in user-led activities when directly compared with alternative coping strategies, allowing professionals and users to make better prescribing and purchasing decisions.

Type: Article
Title: Are wearable electronic vision enhancement systems (wEVES) beneficial for people with age-related macular degeneration? A scoping review
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/opo.13117
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.13117
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of College of Optometrists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Keywords: age-related macular degeneration, head-mounted display, image enhancement, low-vision aid, visually impaired persons, wearable devices, wearable electronic vision enhancement systems
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166470
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