Date Published:2015 Mar 18
PURPOSE: A pocket-sized collision warning device equipped with a video camera was developed to predict impending collisions based on time to collision rather than proximity. A study was conducted in a high density obstacle course to evaluate the effect of the device on collision avoidance in people with peripheral field loss (PFL). METHODS: The 41 meter long loop-shaped obstacle course consisted of 46 stationary obstacles from floor to head level, and oncoming pedestrians. Twenty five patients with tunnel vision (n = 13) or hemianopia (n = 12) completed 4 consecutive loops with and without the device, while not using any other habitual mobility aid. Walking direction and device usage order were counterbalanced. Number of collisions and preferred percentage of walking speed (PPWS) were compared within subjects. RESULTS: Collisions were reduced significantly by about 37% (p < 0.001) with the device (Floor-level obstacles were excluded because the device was not designed for them). No patient had more collisions when using the device. While the PPWS also reduced with the device from 52% to 49% (p = 0.053), this did not account for the lower number of collisions, as the changes in collisions and PPWS were not correlated (p = 0.516). CONCLUSIONS: The device may help patients with a wide range of PFL avoid collisions with high-level obstacles and barely affect their walking speed.