Ministry of Health is waiting for final report from company before approving eyewear technology that could help blind see
Courtney Greenberg, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, June 6, 2016 7:24PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 6, 2016 8:07PM EDT
A group of legally blind people from Ontario were at Queen’s Park on Monday to push for funding for new technology that they say would significantly help improve eyesight.
Yvonne Felix, spokesperson for eSight -- the company behind the technology -- said the company wants OHIP to cover the eyewear so that those who are legally blind can reach their full potential.
Representatives from the Ministry of Health told CTV Toronto that they are waiting for a final report from a clinical study from eSight before they would consider the technology under the Ontario Assistive Devices program.
Officials at the Canadian National Institute for Blindness said they are hoping the enhanced eyewear will become more affordable and smaller in size.
The cost of the glasses is $20,000. There are currently close to 100 people who use the product. In Ontario, there are approximately 200,000 people dealing with vision loss but only two-thirds of them could be eligible to use the product.
The glasses use a high-resolution video camera “that captures everything the user is looking at,” according to the compnay's website.
A computer uses software to process each pixel captured on camera, the site says, and then the enhanced video is sent back to the headset and displayed on LED screens in front of the user’s eyes.
The settings -- like colour, contrast and brightness -- are adjustable and the process happens in real time.