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Using virtual reality to detect signs of glaucoma

US researchers have developed a virtual reality headset that uses light to stimulate targeted areas in a patient’s visual field

Virtual reality headset

A virtual reality headset could improve the diagnosis of glaucoma by enabling more frequent testing.

The NGoggle device, developed by scientists at Duke University, provides an objective assessment of peripheral vision loss by using light to stimulate targeted areas in the patient’s visual field and gauging a patient’s brain activity.

The portability of the device means that it can be used in a community setting, with the potential to be used in a patient’s home.

NGoggle incorporates wireless electroencephalography to monitor brain activity. Within a few minutes, it can accrue enough information to assess how well each eye communicates with the brain across the field of vision.

A study funded by the National Eye Institute will test the diagnostic accuracy and reproducibility of the device.

The virtual reality aspect of the device means that a patient’s vision could be tested while they play a video game or explore a virtual art gallery.