Research & Development

Research and Development are important in the field of low vision care and rehabilitation. It improves the understanding of the underlying causes of low vision and helps in the development of new assistive devices, and interventions. It also opens up / develops ideas that are more accessible and affordable to everyone. It facilitates standardized practices in the field. Vision-Aid supports Research and Development in a range of innovative areas of low vision care and rehabilitation. Below are some examples of current projects

The Vasantha-Krupasagar Palakurthi Vision-Aid Resource Center, LVPEI Hyderabad

LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) is a pioneer in eye care with a global reputation of excellence and the recipient of several national and international awards. It offers job-ready training programs for persons with vision impairment, professional development in low-vision rehabilitation, and distribution of hi-tech assistive devices. It also conducts research activities in the field of low vision in collaboration with Vision Aid.

Visual acuity and visual field are commonly tested while measuring vision. However, contrast sensitivity (CS) is often not considered a critical parameter to quantify low vision. Visual perception and understanding of the visual environment happen primarily at low to intermediate contrast levels. It plays a crucial role in communication, mobility, sustained near-vision tasks, and activities of daily living. Hence, understanding CS is critical to understanding the difficulty experienced by low-vision children and facilitating early intervention. Unfortunately, there are hardly any studies on normative contrast sensitivity and low-contrast visual acuity. The research aims to study contrast sensitivity in children with and without vision impairment.

The study is advancing rapidly. So far, more than 1500 children have been recruited for this study and tested for contrast sensitivity. Interim analysis of the data is in progress so that the outcomes of this research will be presented at upcoming conferences. 

Smart Vision Glasses:

Technology will have a key role to play in the coming year(s) in helping the visually impaired to perform their daily living activities with independence and confidence. Smart vision glasses is one such innovative technology that looks at solving the problems faced by the visually impaired in their daily life.

Vision-Aid by being a partner in the distribution of Smart vision glasses across its Pan-India resource centers supports the role of Artificial intelligence (AI) in enabling and empowering the visually impaired community. The idea of this AI-powered glasses was initiated by Aravind Eye Care, Madurai, and SHG Technologies, Bangalore.

In addition to the distribution of these devices, Vision-Aid plays an important role in the evolution of this innovative product through surveys and feedback from visually impaired beneficiaries.

Scientific publications of Partners:

Vision-Aid resource centers across India, run with our pre-eminent partners have published important research papers. A few examples are listed below.

Aravind eye care:

  1. Bhaskaran, Sahithya & Flora, Jeyaseeli & Perumalsamy, Vijayalakshmi & Durairaj, DeepaChitra. (2022). Visual impairment in children with multiple disabilities in schools for children with special needs in South India. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 70. 1307. 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1851_21 .
  2. Vijayalakshmi P, Flora J, Shah G, Sahithya B, Gilbert C. Ocular signs, visual and general developmental outcome in Indian children with radiologically proven periventricular leukomalacia. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2022 Feb;70(2):619-624. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1779_21. PMID: 35086248; PMCID: PMC9023957.
  3. Gilbert, Clare & Vijayalakshmi, P. & Bhaskaran, Sahithya & Udupihille, Tavisha & Muhiddin, Habibah & Windy, Dyah Ayu & Panggalo, Idayani & Ruit, Sanduk & Adhikari, Srijana & Hussain, A. & Islam, Khaleda. (2021). Childhood Blindness and Visual Impairment. 10.1007/978-981-16-3787-2_11.
  4. Subathra G N, Durai I, Bhaskaran S. Congenital aniridia- there’s more than meets the eye. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2021;59:298-300
  5. Ehrlich JR, Flora HJ, Stagg BC, Vengadesh B, Willey G, Vardhan S A. Functional Difficulties of Patients Seeking Low Vision Services in South India. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2020 Sep-Oct;9(5):470-475. doi: 10.1097/APO.0000000000000285. PMID: 32371739; PMCID: PMC7541584.
  6. Beligere N, Perumalsamy V, Flora JH, Garska MJ (2020) Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Children with Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Report from India. Int J Ophthalmol Clin Res 7:114.
  7. Bhaskaran, Sahithya & Lawrence, Linda & Flora, Jeyaseeli & Perumalsamy, Vijayalakshmi. (2018). Functional and cognitive vision assessment in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 22. 10.1016/j.jaapos.2018.03.010.
  8. Commentary: Low vision devices are boon to patients with visual impairment due to retinal dystrophies. Bhaskaran, Sahithya; Sahoo, Jitendra Kumar1; Mishra, Chitaranjan2Jasti DN, Kowsalya A, Bhaskaran S, Jayasri K, Thanemozhi S, Kumar M. Optic atrophy in paediatric patients: A clinical review. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2022;60:158-61

Community Eye Care Foundation (CECF) :

  1. A prospective study on low vision was started in 2018 where 456 students were examined from six schools around Pune. The purpose of this study was to assess the need for spectacles and low-vision aids (LVA) in students attending schools for the blind and study their compliance with use. The following study was finished in 2020.   

  1. An article published in Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology, pre-session questionnaires to the attendees to assess their knowledge on Low vision and rehabilitation and a post-session questionnaire to understand their input on how much they had understood post our low vision and rehabilitation session. The attendees included Ophthalmologist, Optometrists, vision technicians, nurses, receptionists and counsellors (support staff) from different medical institutions, hospitals and clinics around Pune. 
  2. Prevention of Ocular Injuries in the Armed Forces and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired 

Research & Development in action