Ferris State University Eye Center demonstrates new technology

VISION DEMO: Rachel Authors, eSight occupational therapist, helps Ferris State University Eye Center patient Anthony Augustine put on the device which will help him see during a demonstration. (Pioneer photo/Meghan Haas)

VISION DEMO: Rachel Authors, eSight occupational therapist, helps Ferris State University Eye Center patient Anthony Augustine put on the device which will help him see during a demonstration. (Pioneer photo/Meghan Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — Patients of the Ferris State University Eye Center spent Monday getting a free demonstration of new technology which would allow the visually impaired to see again.

Clinic patients heard about technology from the eSight company and Dr. Sarah Hinkley, professor and chief of Vision Rehabilitation of the Ferris Eye Center, set up the demos.

“We are now a partner of eSight,” Hinkley said. “We can refer patients to them for demos. This is in addition to our rehabilitation services, which are critical.”

The device works like a visor and can be raised and lowered to change the viewing range. According to eSight, the device uses a high-speed, high-resolution camera to capture what the user is looking at in real time. A video is projected in front of users in full color and clarity.

The device helps people with many different visual impairments, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and others. One impairment the device helps with is Stargardt’s disease, which causes patient Anthony Augustine to have blurred vision when he looks straight forward.

“This would be really nice,” he said.

Augustine began losing vision when he was approximately 13-years-old. He said the expensive technology, which costs approximately $10,000 according to the eSight website, would help him in the work force.

Augustine can see enough to do some body shop work, but takes longer than most other people would because he is visually impaired. He said one big issue he has is working on the inside of vehicle with a black interior and black screws in a spot where light is limited.

“A goal of vision rehab and of this technology is to keep patients independent in life, despite losing their sight,” Hinkley said.

avatar

Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply