Mobile apps to help people with vision impairments launched in Tamil Nadu
Two mobile applications, Digital Nethra for Eyes (Dignify) and Visual Intervention Kit with Analytics for Children with Special Needs (VIKAS), have been launched in Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
The apps have been developed by MindTree Foundation in partnership with Aravind Eye Care System to help people who are blind or with low vision.
Dignify can read out text from printed books. The VIKAS application helps in diagnosis and rehabilitation of people with cognitive visual dysfunction.
Experts present at the launch said that CVD is not caused by a problem in the eyes, but in certain areas of brain that process the inputs from eyes. People with CVD typically face difficulties in recognizing faces, colours, or limitations in field of view.
The cause for CVD is often due to premature births. This leads to lack of blood flow or development in certain parts of brain, as well as disorders like such as autism spectrum disorder. CVD is hard to diagnose as children often cannot express their difficulties.
The VIKAS application has a number of simple exercises involving pattern matching, colour recognition, and puzzle solving. These help in diagnozing the problems faced by those affected by CVD, and helps in treatment.
Dignify can scan the pages of the book and read out the content. Right now it can process only English. There are plans to support other Indian languages in the future.
Both the mobile applications are available for download free of cost. MindTree plans to make the kit needed with Dignify available at a price range of less than Rs 10,000 so it is affordable.