University of Essex technology helps tackle visual stress issues

Coloured lenses can reduce visual stress for people with a range of different conditions.

Coloured lenses can reduce visual stress for people with a range of different conditions. - Credit: � ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2002.

A new business collaboration involving the University of Essex could help people all over the world who require coloured lenses to help them read.

Visual stress expert Professor Arnold Wilkins, from the university’s Department of Psychology, has developed technology, known as the Intuitive Colorimeter, which offers a bespoke solution for people who suffer headaches, blurred vision, discomfort or word movement while reading.

Although the use of coloured lenses to overcome such problems is well established, the Intuitive Colorimeter is claimed to be the first fully digital system for prescribing the precise colour which works best for a particular sufferer.

It is the result of extensive research by Prof Wilkins into the use of colour filters to help a range of neurological conditions such as autism and migraines which are all linked to a different range of issues but all have visual stress in common.

Through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) arrangement, Prof Wilkins and colleague Dr Martin Colley have now teamed up with Cerium Visual Technologies, based in Kent, to manufacture and distribute the Intuitive Colorimeter,

Prof Wilkins says there is growing awareness of the major impact that the technology can have on people’s lives.

“I have had positive feedback from many patients, from a young boy who said he could now read the whiteboard at school to adults who have suffered head injuries and strokes and are helped to read again,” he said. “It is very rewarding,

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“The KTP project has been a wonderful opportunity to take this research to the next stage. The project has been very close to my heart. This is a true UK innovation which is being sold around the world and I am pleased the project has been given the recognition it deserves.”

KTPs support UK businesses wanting to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge and expertise available within UK universities and colleges.

In another health-related partnership, the University of Essex is working with Stowmarket-based Orbital Media on the potential use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to create a “virtual” GP service online.