Researchers Make Clinical Trials a Virtual Reality

ScienceDaily (Aug. 30, 2012) — Clinical trials can be time-consuming, expensive and intrusive, but they are also necessary. Researchers at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma have developed an invention that makes clinical trials more efficient by moving them into the virtual world.

Called “digital Eye Bank,” the computer software eye modeling program includes data from people’s eyes for researchers to use when testing their inventions. Developed by Ying-Ling Chen, research assistant professor of physics and Jim Lewis, professor emeritus in physics, Eye Bank can take data from eyes of patients’ and build it into models from the commercial optics program to be used for researchers’ virtual clinical trials.

A video about the invention can be viewed online (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEhXgHwJDUU).

“The idea of Eye Bank is to use existing clinical data and build in realistic and personalized eye models stored in a ready-to-use tool kit like a group of volunteers,” said Chen. “Then we can call on any specific eye to test a newly designed optical instrument on the computer and see what kind of performance the design gets. This testing can be done repeatedly without hurting real human subjects.” Read more