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School of Medicine
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Clinical Technology Development
- Design and construction of instruments for automated refraction of the eye (measurement for glasses), resulting in the 1981 introduction of the American Optical SR-IV Programmed Subjective Refractor. This instrument allows an office assistant to obtain accurate measurements on the majority of patients. Research continues on further automation of such instruments.
- Development of the Potential Acuity Meter, a device to measure the potential visual acuity of cataractous eyes, thus helping to predict whether surgery will be of benefit, particularly when other disease is present as well. Other methods of measuring potential visual acuity are currently under development.
- Development of optical systems for remote examination of strabismic patients and measurement of visual function in infants. Large concave mirrors image the patient into a remote location where various tests can be performed, avoiding distracting apparatus before the patient's eyes. Tests are presented remotely on video displays under computer control.
- Investigation of the mechanism of accommodation in primate eyes, with the goal of possibly linking prolonged accommodation to the progression of myopia. Injection of a gas bubble into the vitreous cavity allows indirect measures of changes in the vitreous fluid pressure during accommodation.
- Development of devices for the remote sensing of eye fixation, eventually to be incorporated into eye trackers. Such devices will aid ophthalmic diagnostic testing and as a wider application, they will allow remote visual control of external devices.
- Investigation of the origins and etiology of strabismus ("crossed eyes") and amblyopia ("lazy eye") in infants and young children. These dysfunctions afflict 4-5% of children. Focus is on earlier detection and treatment than now feasible, which is required to improve binocular visual function prognosis for these developmentally-related disorders. Computer and image processor-based infant vision testing is used, pertinent to the mass screening setting that will be needed to improve detection rates in this age group.
- Development of new treatment to improve binocular prognosis in amblyopia.
- Development of computer-based devices to aid visual function in patients with severe vision loss due to retinal disease. Many elderly patients with retinal disease suffer such loss and existing low vision aid devices have serious limitations for them.