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This week on Canto Talk, it is my pleasure to introduce Robin Donley, a savvy California businesswoman who has designed an innovative rehabilitation tool — Vision Coach, a dynamic, state-of-the-art interactive system designed to promote and enhance visual function, muscular coordination and neuromotor abilities. It can be used for a wide variety of treatments, including sports therapy and addressing some symptoms of autism.
So, this week, we are going to feature “technology” and “flaming capitalism”, and this promises to be a very engaging and entertaining show. Click HERE on Thursday, March 28 (7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST) for some great programming.
For additional information, check out the following sites, and the wonderful video. A fuller description of her innovative product is below.
- VISION COACH web site: http://www.visioncoachtrainer.com/index.html
- VISION COACH Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vision-Coach-Interactive-Light-Board/250996488249?ref=hl
- Twitter: VC_TRAINER
Visual therapy programs are increasingly contributing to the success of rehabilitative therapy treatments. Numerous successful case histories have been recorded which clearly underscore positive patient outcomes utilizing optometric vision therapy techniques.[i] However, until recently, devices that have been a key component of these therapies have failed to address physical limitations faced by many patients adequately. Therefore, therapists either altered certain aspects of the therapy, or limited the scope of therapy programs to accommodate specific patient restrictions (e.g., height, physical mobility, ability to press down on buttons).
VISION COACH™ Interactive Light Board is a new product that well addresses many patient limitations. Additionally, VISION COACH™ improves upon much safety related issues that are pertinent to both patients and therapists. Furthermore, the unit’s design and programming provide program options that are increasingly appreciated by professionals in clinics and treatment centers across the country.
VISION COACH™: Designed by an Optometric Vision Therapist
VISION COACH™ Interactive Light Board is registered with the FDA as a Class 1 Medical Device, 510K Exempt, It was introduced during the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) 39th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO in 2009.[ii] The unit was designed by Robin Donley, who became the Lead Therapist during her career as an Optometric Vision Therapist at the San Diego Center for Vision Care. Subsequently, VISION COACH™ incorporates innovations resolving performance and safety issues that Donley and other rehabilitation professionals noted while using units (DynaVision, Wayne Saccadic Fixator, Accuvision 1000) that were previously available for treatment regimens.
Overcoming Patients’ Physical Limitations with VISION COACH™
Earlier visual rehabilitation units offered display panels which could only be adjusted within narrow height parameters, this meant smaller patients or those who had disabilities which prevented them from reaching specific levels could not conveniently utilize these devices as part of therapy regimens. Effective rehabilitative therapies have patient movement components; therefore, these limitations negatively impacted the range of treatment options available to therapists.
To counteract potential physical ability restrictions, the VISION COACH™ display is mounted to a counter-weight, wall mounted slider. This system allows the user to effortlessly position the display to any level of height from the floor to eye level at 7 feet, permitting a wide range of heights to maximize therapy options. Additionally, there are no electrical components to break down within the slider, so adjustments can be readily made by professionals to accommodate patient needs during therapy sessions.
Once VISION COACH™ is aligned to the proper height; it is very easy for the patient to use. The individual faces the display at eye level and reacts to the lights as they appear in a random series by depressing each light as quickly as it is seen. The VISION COACH™ display is not a touch screen surface; therefore, accuracy and pressure is required to depress each light. Each light has a tactile feel and an auditory tone when depressed. As a result, this innovative unit is available to those who may have physical limitations. For example, patients with physical limitations can depress lights of the interactive display membrane using the finger/knuckle, parts of the palm, back of the hand, or with an apparatus attached to the hand. Furthermore, VISION COACH™ can also be used by those who are physically unable to touch the display by use of visual/verbal recognition and reaction. It is compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Reducing Safety Hazards with VISION COACH™
Adequately addressing patients’ physical capacities is one of the myriad of issues for professionals designing rehabilitation equipment. Another important matter for therapists to consider is related to an impaired sense of balance experienced by many patients. There have been instances of patients leaning or grabbing onto previously available units during their exercises due to their vestibular issues, (dizziness or disorientatioin) which resulted in the equipment detaching from the wall and injuring themselves or their therapists. The potential for injury was increased by the sharp edges on these units.
VISION COACH™ designs incorporate features that substantially reduce these hazards. VISION COACH™ was developed based on Donley’s in-depth experience as a Vision Therapist. The lightweight unit is designed with rounded corners for safety; it is strongly mounted offering stability for the user. The membrane, or face of the display, is the largest currently manufactured and was custom-designed for this unit. The display is readily adjustable by the therapist by simply pushing its location to the desired height.
There are additional design elements that enhance other aspects related to safety issues for patients and therapists. The device’s flat surface makes it nosocomial resistant to “super bugs”. Cavacide or cleaning wipes may be used to disinfect after eachuse.. As no external connections are needed, it leaves a clutter-free working area that eliminates trip hazards for both patients and therapists. VISION COACH™ meets Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) safety requirements for hospital use.
Benefits of VISION COACH™ in a Rehabilitation Setting
VISION COACH™ has a wide range of potential applications. For example, the unit can be used to establish baseline performance levels for athletes and has been utilized in tactical training programs for police and military units. Medical care providers are now developing effective vision rehabilitation treatments restoring visual function, enhanced muscular coordination and improved neuro-motor abilities; subsequently, neurorehabilitation centers are including vision training facilities as part of their operations.
VISION COACH™ offers many features that make it an excellent addition to these clinics.
The display membrane offers a non-glare working surface, which is essential for its use with patients recovering from an acquired or traumatic brain injury. Ambient lighting is not needed when using VISION COACH™, so it may be used in a fully lit or dark room. The unit provides no visual cues which allows for a true assessment of a patient’s abilities and potential deficiencies. This feature enables recovery treatments to be readily tailored to meet ther patient’s needs.
With the American population aging, driver rehabilitation for elderly patients recovering from stroke or other age-related conditions is becoming more prevalent. VISION COACH™ can become an essential component of these geriatric therapies. For example, VISION COACH™ can be used in a dark room for the assessment and improvement of night time driving skills. With the use of the Red/Blue Goggles included with the system, the patient can be readily evaluated for binocularity issues. The large horizontal display and solid black matte membrane make the VISION COACH™ incomparable for the development of scanning, tracking, and peripheral awareness processes that are integral for effective driver rehabilitation programs.
In fact, VISION COACH™ is now part of a study being conducted by Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in conjunction with Greenville Health System, Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation. The lead investigator is Dr. Johnell Brooks, Assistant Professor of Psychology with Clemson University, who is well experienced on studying the capabilities and limitation of drivers and was the recipient of the Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Transportation Fellowship, awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
VISION COACH™ Advantages for Therapists
VISION COACH™ is a valuable asset to therapists as well as patients. It offers effortless height adjustment with the counter-weight adjustable slider. The unit has low voltage LED technology,, (no incandescent bulbs to replace), and the embedded LED’s have a 14,000 hour life span. A USB Port allows for future program upgrades. The USB port also allows therapists to download program results for evaluation and record-keeping. In addition, the VISION COACH is Wi-Fi compatible allowing interaction with iPad, Android, PC’s and even Smart Phones.
Finally, in terms of benefits for therapists, VISION COACH™ offers a progressive customer service approach to avoid a significant issue for medical professionals: Disruption of the protocol of therapy. In the event a unit needs to be serviced, a temporary unit will be made available until the original unit is returned. This policy allows therapists to continue patient treatments, expediting recovery times and enhancing treatment results. This approach promises to be immensely helpful to both therapists and patients.
VISION COACH™: Expanding Therapy Options and Safety Protections
VISION COACH™ Interactive Light Board has been developed with patient needs and therapy concerns in mind. The unit can accommodate the program needs of patients with severe physical limitations, while enhancing important safety aspects that protect users and therapists. This medical device promises to be an important, new addition to a vast array of rehabilitation regimens.
I met Robin via her wonderful husband, George Donley. He is President of Environmental Remediation Management, and I did some technical writing for his firm.
He kindly expanded upon a few points, in terms of doing business in California:
I manage all the day to day operations with engineering, production, interact with vendors, payroll, taxes and all things involved with corporate compliance and governing.Both Eastman Enterprises and ERM are in a line of business that makes us aware of California regulations. My business specializes in chemical process management, hazardous waste management and facility closures.
Facility closures has been the main focus for our business as the last 15 years. General Dynamics was our biggest client that can be mentioned on air. Most of our work has been for Aerospace, tech firms and some bio tech. All of these companies have left California for the same reasons our manufacturing base is in Oregon. The rules, regulations and overall business climate is prohibitive for any manufacturer to produce a product for a competitive price.
Our manufacturing facility overhead expense in Oregon is easily half of what it costs in California. And the Oregon manufacturing base makes quality parts for our product that are competitively priced compared to California manufacturing firms, that tried, and failed to make parts to meet our requirements.
So, if you have a project involving chemical process management, hazardous waste management, or facility closures in Southern California, please check out Environmental Remediation Management.