OMT CEO John Vito d’Antonio-Bertagnolli is the principal investigator on a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The project seeks to develop a novel software solution to treat convergence insufficiency (CI), a binocular vision disorder that affects 5% of the general population, as well as 50% of patients with post concussive syndrome. Typical symptoms of CI include double/blurry vision, headaches, dizziness, eye stress and strain, and nausea when performing tasks close to the face, such as reading. In addition, a childhood diagnosis of CI is correlated with the diagnosis of an attention disorder and difficulty in school. This project aims to build a software platform that turns any game playable in supported virtual reality (VR) headsets into a therapeutic experience that will treat CI. While current therapy protocols are generally effective in treating CI, patient engagement can be particularly low in pediatric populations especially within the home setting, due to the repetitive nature of common therapeutic activities. By allowing pediatric patients to play any VR game of their choosing, this project will increase engagement in the therapeutic intervention, and permit patients to complete schoolwork without visual symptoms sooner than with traditional therapy protocols.
Read the grant abstract here.
About the NSF’s Small Business Programs
America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. For more information, visit seedfund.nsf.gov.