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Ingenious system cures lazy eye as your kid watches shows on Netflix

What if you were able to cure certain medical conditions by watching Netflix? That’s what digital healthcare company NovaSight has demonstrated with its new amblyopia treatment, currently on display at CES. Amblyopia, better known as lazy eye, is an early childhood problem in which eyesight does not develop properly in one eye. It is the leading cause of vision loss in children. When a patient suffers from amblyopia, their brain learns to rely more on one eye than the other, resulting in a feedback loop that doesn’t allow the weaker eye to improve.

The traditional way of solving this issue involves the patient wearing an eye patch over the stronger eye. However, this has problems. It is uncomfortable for patients, both physically and socially. Kids, in particular, may refuse to wear an eye patch. This means very low compliance rates with treatment.

NovaSight’s innovative new solution, called CureSight, is a whole lot smarter, relying on cutting-edge artificial intelligence and eye-tracking tech instead of anything as old-fashioned as an eye patch. The system requires the patient to wear a special pair of glasses. They then watch TV content on a custom NovaSight tablet, with smart eye-tracking used to blur the momentary gaze position of the viewer’s dominant eye, forcing the brain to instead use the amblyopic eye.

“The system is leased to [a] patient for the duration of the treatment, which usually runs on average from three to four months,” Moshe Barel, NovaSight’s vice president for marketing and sales, told Digital Trends. “CureSight contains dozens of video content sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Channel, and more. The treatment is fun and engaging, leading to higher levels of compliance. In a recent clinical study conducted on 20 children, we had a compliance rate of 95%, which resulted in significant improvement in visual acuity and stereo-acuity.”

The CureSight system will be available in Europe starting in early 2020, before rolling out in the United States at a later date. For the approximately 3% of the worldwide population with amblyopia, this could be the game-changer they’ve been waiting for.

Follow our live blog for more CES news and announcements.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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