We are all aware that the time spent in front of screens has harmful consequences on our eyesight. However, at a time when everything is going digital, and when everything happens on screen or almost, we have no other choice but to suffer and try to preserve our sight… Most people working on screen are obliged of wear glasses to correct vision problems. Among these lesions, glaucoma is an eye problem that affects 4.65 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of blindness. In an attempt to prevent this disease, Japanese researchers have developed a video game, Meteor Blaster, supposed to detect the onset of glaucoma. Discovery!
What is glaucoma?
According to the website Ameli.frglaucoma is a chronic eye disease that results in optic nerve damage, which is located at the back of the eye, at the level of the retina and which is used to send images to the brain. In glaucoma, nerve endings are damaged, causing poor image transmission reducing the eye’s field of vision. The vision gradually disappears on both sides, then the central vision and finally cause blindness. Glaucoma is estimated to affect 1–2% of the population over 40 and 10% of those over 70; it is the second leading cause of blindness in France.
What is the Japanese invention?
Researchers from the Graduate School of Medicine from Tohoku University have collaborated with television group Sendai Broadcasting to develop a shooting game called Meteor Blaster. And this video game would be able to detect the signs of glaucoma in 5 minutes of play only. The development teams wanted to make access to Meteor Blaster free, since the goal is to prevent, and not to earn money! It is therefore to download for free and is played on smartphone.
How it works ?
Meteor Blaster is a basic shooter in which you have to explode meteorites using a laser cannon. But you also have to capture the white dots that appear on the screen. This game is available on smartphones and would give good results provided that players hold a distance of 30 centimeters between their eyes and their smartphone. Players are then invited to pass 4 different levels.
Once the levels are gained, the game will analyze the player’s reactions to the objects encountered, or rather to the targets reached. The resulting report takes into account 16 performance criteria. If the player obtains the score of 1, he is not affected by a possible glaucoma. On the other hand, if it reaches a score of 5, it will be time to consult an ophthalmologist. Meteor Blaster was patented last July, and behind its playfulness, it could be a real help for professionals in the prevention of glaucoma. This innovative video game and useful will perhaps allow some to consult before it is irremediable. We validate, and you?