Today, Ubisoft and Amblyotech Inc. announced their collaboration on a brand new game called Dig Rush, designed to help with the treatment of Amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye” – a disorder that affects 3% of children worldwide and, if unsuccessfully treated, is a leading cause of blindness in adults. Combining unique gameplay with inventions initially patented by Drs. Robert Hess, Benjmain Thompson, Behzad Mansouri, Jeremy Cooperstock, Long To and Jeff Blum at McGill University, Dig Rush seeks to create an entertaining way for patients to undergo their Amblyopia therapy.
“While current treatment options, such as eye patching, provide limited relief and have poor patient compliance due to discomfort and social stigmas, the Amblyotech-patented electronic therapy has been tested clinically to significantly increase the visual acuity of both children and adults who suffer from this condition without the use of an eye patch. With our agreement with Ubisoft, we are further able to provide physicians with a complete and accurate picture of treatment compliance to help them monitor patient progress throughout therapy,” stated Joseph Koziak, CEO of Amblyotech.
“The development of Dig Rush was a great opportunity for us to contribute our knowledge and skills in videogame development to help materialize a breakthrough novel medical treatment,” said Mathieu Ferland, Senior Producer, Ubisoft. “The team from Ubisoft Montreal has been able to create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for patients being treated for Amblyopia, and we’re proud to be involved in such a positive illustration of the impact of videogame technology.”
Using 3D glasses and a tablet provided by their physician, players work both the dominant and lazy eye in order to train the brain to improve visual perception. Dig Rush will submit each eye to differing levels of contrast for the objects displayed in the game. The physician can adjust the game’s settings in order to customize the experience for each patient. So every person using this method will have just the right level of contrast to suit their weak eye’s condition.
“McGill University has a proud history of innovation and product development in numerous fields, especially life sciences. It is our pleasure to see one of our invented technologies take the next step to commercialization,” stated Dr. Michèle Beaulieu, Associate Director of the Invention Development and Entrepreneurship Assistance Team in the Office of Innovation and Partnership of McGill University.
Studies on the therapy have already shown significant improvement in visual function for both children and adults. Amblyotech Inc. will be seeking FDA clearance to market this therapy in the United States, and once it has received all approvals, the treatment will be made available worldwide.