The mission of the Harvard Ophthalmology Mobility Enhancement and Vision Rehabilitation is to develop and apply real world and virtual environments for research, clinical assessment, and rehabilitation training to enable visually impaired patients to safely achieve greater freedom and enhanced quality of life through improved ability to navigate on foot or by car.
Eliezer (Eli) Peli, OD, MSc
Joseph F. Rizzo III, MD
See a list of Mobility Enhancement
and Vision Rehabilitation faculty
People with impaired vision deserve freedom of mobility and the higher quality of life that comes with it. Our faculty focus on the development of new low vision aids and evaluation techniques for those with partial visual field loss from stroke, traumatic brain injuries, central vision loss from AMD, and peripheral field vision loss from glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa so they can navigate and move more safely on foot and by car.
The mobility center works directly at the clinical applied phase of research. Our researchers are creating novel and innovative technologies and techniques to give people with impaired vision greater mobility and quality of life.
Major Research Breakthroughs
In the last 20 years, our investigators have achieved many research milestones. Notably, they have:
- Spearheaded the Boston Retinal Implant Project, a retina prosthesis designed to restore useful vision to patients who are blind from age-related macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa
- Developed auditory-based video games for improving navigation and other cognitive skills in blind adolescents
- Developed a vision-assistive device that detects potential hazards in the environment and reduces risk of collision for those who are blind or have visual field loss
- Developed eyeglasses that use high-power prisms to optically expand the visual fields of patients with hemianopia
- Developed the Boston Blink-netic Project, which has successfully treated patients with eyelid paralysis using a nonsurgical approach of embedding a magnet in biocompatible material and adhering it to the eyelid skin
2020 Vision: Promising Areas For Future Research
Looking to the future, our investigators hope to develop more advanced head-mounted displays that use improved computer and image processing software to assist patients with visual impairments.