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Kara Celi, Rylee Holland, Adam Sumilong, Teema Yassine
Empowering individuals with tetraplegia and visual impairments to use contact lenses independently
Tetraplegia is a level of paralysis in all four limbs caused by spinal cord injuries. Tetraplegic patients often have difficulty wearing glasses. They struggle to push them up without smearing them and cannot pick up their glasses if they fall due to their limited core strength. Thus, many people with tetraplegia want to wear contact lenses. However, quadriplegic individuals cannot follow the standard procedures of using contact lenses and need means of safely and reliably inserting and removing artificial lenses. Using the average cost of disability aids for specific functions in the United States ($94.35), the prevalence of SCIs, and the average percentages of the need for vision correction aids, we calculated our Total Addressable Market to be $27.6M and our Serviceable Market to be $14.9M. TetraVision can be used with a single arm to insert contact lenses quickly and independently. The user weaves their arm through the cuffs on the peripheral portion of the device, then brings it to their face in one, simple motion. Two exterior rods that are internally connected to gears sit above and below the eye. As the user applies more pressure to their face, the rods symmetrically move outward, opening the eye. The silicone contact lens seat between the two rods approaches the eye and inserts the contact lens gently. The silicone seat was designed using Euler buckling calculations and testing, which allowed us to ensure that the pressure from the contact lens seat does not exceed the eye’s internal pressure. The device was tested to ensure size inclusivity with small, medium, and large sizes, as well as being ambidextrous by flipping the arm cuffs. We also validated that the distance between the two exterior rods fits a variety of eye sizes.