Dec 28, 2020

Supporting people with low vision to live their life the way they choose

Supporting people with low vision to live their life the way they choose

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow and CueSleeve co-founder Dr Chris McCarthy is working to make it easier for people living with low vision and neurocognitive disorders to do what they want and love to do.

It can be challenging for people living with low vision to identify and move towards objects in their everyday life – whether at home or getting around on public transport, dining and more. For people living with neurocognitive disorders such as traumatic brain injury, movement to interact with their world can also be a significant challenge.

“Through this technology we aim to provide a low-cost assistive aid for people with low vision, and an accessible therapeutic aid for rehabilitation of hand-eye coordination in people living with low vision and neurocognitive disorders,” says Chris.

“The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship will provide both the financial support and mentorship we need to develop and commercialise CueSleeve.”

The first prototype is the result of years of hard work from Chris’ PhD student and co-founder Deepa Prabhu, and the CueSleeve team including Mehedi Hasan, Dr Clare MacMahon (La Trobe University) and Dr Lisa Wise.

“CueSleeve is a wearable and flexible sleeve that computes and then delivers vibration-based cues to the user’s forearm skin, guiding them towards objects that they are interested in looking at more closely, touching or picking up,” says Chris.

CueSleeve detects and tracks the objects with sensors embedded within the sleeve and a head-mounted camera using advanced computer vision.

A Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Swinburne University of Technology, Chris has worked at the forefront of prosthetic vision with Bionic Vision Australia and in developing a robotic aid for paediatric rehabilitation – now deployed at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships are valued at $70,000 each and will provide Chris with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™ – Asia Pacific’s MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech accelerator.

“I am excited to learn about entrepreneurship and business from the experts, and to bring this project, already years in the making, out of the lab and into the hands of people we believe it can truly benefit.”

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and the MedTech Actuator, supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

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