Ubisoft has, in association with Abmlyotech Inc., announced Dig Rush, touted as the first video game based on a patented method to treat Amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’.
The methods used by the game were first invented and patented by Drs. Robert Hess, Benjamin Thompson, Behzad Mansouri, Jeremy Cooperstock, Long To and Jeff Blum at McGill University. Dig Rush uses these methods as the foundation of its gameplay top create an entertaining method of improving patients’ Amblyopia therapy.
CEO of Amblyotech Inc. Joseph Koziak said, “While current treatments options, such as eye patching, provide limited relief and have poor patient compliance due to discomfort and social stigmas, the Amblyotech-patented electronic therapy has been tested clinically to significantly increase the visual acuity of both children and adults who suffer from this condition without the use of an eye patch.” On Dig Rush he explains that by partnering “with Ubisoft, we are further able to provide physicians with a complete and accurate picture of treatment compliance to help them monitor patient progress throughout therapy.”
Dig Rush focuses on training both eyes, rather than just the weaker of the two and also trains the user’s brain “in order to improve visual acuity of the patient.” Amblyopia is caused by a turned eye or unequal refractive error causing one eye to be more powerful than the other. If untreated it is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Amblyopia affects 3% of children worldwide. Traditional treatments, while effective, often fail due to poor patient compliance, social stigma and higher rates of relapse.
When playing Dig Rush, patients must wear stereoscopic glasses which apply differing levels of contrast to their eyes for objects in the game. In order to progress through the levels, the player is forced to use both eyes, which over time will work towards correcting the combination of binocular information between them. Studies of the treatment in both children and adults have shown 90% recovery of binocular combination, 2/3 gain improved 3D vision and 2/3 gain improved vision through the amblyopic eye.
Amblyotech is currently seeking FDA approval for the game and if approved will be administered by medical practitioners to sufferers of Amblyopia.
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