Supporting eyewear compliance for amblyopia

Cure Kids is assisting Dr Black’s work by funding the development and testing of a digital device to be attached to spectacles worn by children with amblyopia. The device will enable Dr Black and her team to learn more about the habits of children wearing their spectacles.

Dr Joanna Black

University of Auckland

Amblyopia, often referred to as ‘lazy eye’, is a common visual disorder affecting around one in 30 children. The condition is characterised by a deficit in visual acuity (clarity of vision) usually in one eye, which can significantly impact on a child’s educational development.

Standard treatment involves wearing spectacles with an obscured lens over the unaffected eye. However, preschoolers are inclined to remove the patch or spectacles, limiting the effectiveness of the treatment.

Monitoring device reports treatment adherence

The device can tell whether a child is wearing spectacles (compliance) or not wearing spectacles (non-compliance).

Dr Joanna Black and her team are designing, developing and testing a digital device that fits onto spectacles to measure a child’s compliance with their treatment. The device can tell whether a child is wearing spectacles (compliance) or not wearing spectacles (non-compliance). Data collected will help with devising treatments and improving outcomes.

The device will initially be tested in the lab, followed by real-world testing in adults. Following these trials, children aged from four to eight will be recruited to test the efficacy of the device.