Aim: To demonstrate the potential clinically meaningful benefits of a thermal camera integrated with the Argus II, an artificial vision therapy system, for assisting Argus II users in localising and discriminating heat-emitting objects. Methods: Seven blind patients implanted with Argus II retinal prosthesis participated in the study. Two tasks were investigated: (1) localising up to three heat-emitting objects by indicating the location of the objects and (2) discriminating a specific heated object out of three presented on a table. Heat-emitting objects placed on a table included a toaster, a flat iron, an electric kettle, a heating pad and a mug of hot water. Subjects completed the two tasks using the unmodified Argus II system with a visible-light camera and the thermal camera-integrated Argus II. Results: Subjects more accurately localised heated objects displayed on a table (p=0.011) and discriminated a specific type of object (p=0.005) presented with the thermal camera integrated with the Argus II versus the unmodified Argus II camera. Conclusions: The thermal camera integrated with the artificial vision therapy system helps users to locate and differentiate heat-emitting objects more precisely than a visible light sensor. The integration of the thermal camera with the Argus II may have significant benefits in patients' daily life.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article