Calibration Tools For PC-Based Vision Assessment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41EY017467-01
Agency Tracking Number: EY017467
Amount: $138,051.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (410) 614-4822
Business Contact
Phone: (763) 463-4814
Research Institution
W400 Wyman Park Building
 Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this phase I STTR, Advanced Medical Electronics Corp. and the JHU Lions Vision Center are teaming up to create a hardware toolkit that will allow personal computers to be used as accurately calibrated and controlled vision test instruments. This toolkit is predicated on the fact that modern PCs and displays (either CRT-based or flat screen) have sufficient computing power, resolution, and stability to function as reliable measurement tools. A major advantage of PC use for vision testing is that measurement software can be equipped with a high level of fault tolerance. Automated test routines including criterion-free and forced-choice procedures, catch trials, Bayesian threshold approximation, and other sophisticated psychophysical techniques can greatly alleviate the need for highly-trained technicians, and the operator's main task can be to make sure that the test subject is cooperative. This fault tolerance does not automatically extend to the setup and calibration of hardware, however. Screen intensity and chromaticity, test distance, room illumination, and a number of other variables can have a significant effect on test thresholds, even when testing the same subject on the same PC under similar conditions. We propose to develop a set of simple hardware tools and control software that will allow necessary hardware calibrations and setup to be performed quickly, reliably, reproducibly, and with a very modest level of training on the part of the operator. Under this phase I application we will design a prototype toolkit with hardware based on off-the-shelf components and software with a relatively primitive user interface. Under the subsequent phase II application we will develop a fully integrated hardware prototype, a fault-tolerant software package with a user-friendly interface, and a detailed product development and commercialization plan. The final product of this STTR program will be twofold: A single user version that allows psychophysicists, experimental psychologists, optometrists, and other professionals to calibrate their PCs for any visual function test purpose; and an OEM version that can be packaged by any visual function test software developer to deliver a turn-key test system for clinicians, rural health centers, school districts, etc. Such packaged vision tests and toolkits will bring the benefit of precise and efficient vision assessment to almost any place where a PC can be set up

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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