Last updated on January 2020

Argus II/ORCAM Device Study


Brief description of study

This study is being done to determine if wearable text-to-speech (TTS) and visual pattern recognition (VPR) technology can be used to extend the capabilities of the Argus II to allow patients to read and recognize faces and objects.

The Argus II retinal prosthesis can restore rudimentary forms of vision to patients with bare light-perception vision. Using the prosthesis, patients can identify obstacles, handles, switches, eating utensils and demonstrate improved navigation when used in conjunction with other ambulation-assist tools. Current limits in the resolution of the device prevent useful reading or face recognition. The FDA has approved the Argus II as a humanitarian device.

Present-day wearable text-to-speech converters are also capable of object and face recognition. Such systems have been developed to assist with these tasks in patients with severe low-vision. ORCAM is a commercially-available eyeglass-mounted visual pattern recognition system capable of converting photographs of text to speech. It is comprised of a camera, a small belt-worn computer, pattern recognition software and a small audio transducer. ORCAM can acquire the image of a sheet of paper and read the text to the user through a small speaker adjacent to the ear. In addition, ORCAM can be trained to recognize faces and speak the name of the individual to the user. ORCAM can also be used to recognize everyday products after being programmed.

Detailed Study Description

The Orcam device will be mounted onto the Argus II eyeglasses. The subject will be asked to use the Orcam device with and without the Argus II. After a half-day interactive training session with the Orcam device, the investigators will interview the subject with a questionnaire. The investigators will then contact the subject every two weeks via a telephone call for two months (4 phone interviews). The investigators will then ask the subject to return to Mayo Clinic to demonstrate their ability to use the Argus II and Orcam together and separately. These sessions will be videotaped.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03248388

Recruitment Status: Closed


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