Harmonization of outcomes and vision endpoints in vision restoration trials: Recommendations from the international hover taskforce

Lauren N. Ayton, Joseph F. Rizzo, Ian L. Bailey, August Colenbrander, Gislin Dagnelie, Duane R. Geruschat, Philip C. Hessburg, Chris D. McCarthy, Matthew A. Petoe, Gary S. Rubin, Philip R. Troyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translational research in vision prosthetics, gene therapy, optogenetics, stem cell and other forms of transplantation, and sensory substitution is creating new therapeutic options for patients with neural forms of blindness. The technical challenges faced by each of these disciplines differ considerably, but they all face the same challenge of how to assess vision in patients with ultra-low vision (ULV), who will be the earliest subjects to receive new therapies. Historically, there were few tests to assess vision in ULV patients. In the 1990s, the field of visual prosthetics expanded rapidly, and this activity led to a heightened need to develop better tests to quantify end points for clinical studies. Each group tended to develop novel tests, which made it difficult to compare outcomes across groups. The common lack of validation of the tests and the variable use of controls added to the challenge of interpreting the outcomes of these clinical studies. In 2014, at the bi-annual International “Eye and the Chip” meeting of experts in the field of visual prosthetics, a group of interested leaders agreed to work cooperatively to develop the International Harmonization of Outcomes and Vision Endpoints in Vision Restoration Trials (HOVER) Taskforce. Under this banner, more than 80 specialists across seven topic areas joined an effort to formulate guidelines for performing and reporting psychophysical tests in humans who participate in clinical trials for visual restora-tion. This document provides the complete version of the consensus opinions from the HOVER taskforce, which, together with its rules of governance, will be posted on the website of the Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology (www.artificialvision.org). Research groups or companies that choose to follow these guidelines are encouraged to include a specific statement to that effect in their communications to the public. The Executive Committee of the HOVER Taskforce will maintain a list of all human psychophysical research in the relevant fields of research on the same website to provide an overview of methods and outcomes of all clinical work being performed in an attempt to restore vision to the blind. This website will also specify which scientific publica-tions contain the statement of certification. The website will be updated every 2 years and continue to exist as a living document of worldwide efforts to restore vision to the blind. The HOVER consensus document has been written by over 80 of the world’s experts in vision restoration and low vision and provides recommendations on the measurement and reporting of patient outcomes in vision restoration trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020


  • Clinical endpoints
  • Vision outcomes
  • Vision restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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