Ubisoft creates a video game to treat 'lazy eye'

Ubisoft creates a video game to treat 'lazy eye'
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

March 3rd 2015 at 6:13PM

Dig Rush developed with experts an could be used as part of long-lasting therapy

Ubisoft has unveiled a new game designed to serve as therapeutic treatment for the condition of amblyopia, more commonly known as ‘lazy eye’.

Produced by the team at Ubisoft Montreal, Dig Rush has been developed in collaboration with Amblyotech, a company that is dedicated to finding treatments for the affliction using applications designed for smartphones and tablets.

Amblyopia treatment often involves training just the weak eye, but Dig Rush uses both eyes to train the brain by using different contrast levels of red and blue that can be seen through stereoscopic glasses. The physician in charge of treatment can then adjust the game’s settings to meet the specific patient’s needs.

“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,” said Joseph Koziak, CEO of Amblyotech.

“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.”

The game is based around the patented method of McGill Univesity’s Drs. Robert Hess, Benjamin Thompson, Behzad Mansouri, Jeremy Cooperstock, Long To and Jeff Blum, a method that has since by licensed to Amblyotech.

It is designed to improve patients’ engagement and experience as part of other amblyopia therapy, and could potentially serve as a longer-lasting treatment. Ambloytech will even be seeking FDA clearance to market this therapy in the US.

“The development of Dig Rush was a great opportunity for us to contribute our knowledge and skills in video game development to help materialise a breakthrough novel medical treatment.” said Ubisoft senior producer Mathieu Ferland.

“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 video game technology.”