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New technology will allow roadside simulation for research on cannabis use and driving


Denise A. Valenti, OD, FAAO, gives key takeaways from her AAOpt 2022 discussion on the impact of marijuana use and driving.

Denise A. Valenti, OD, FAAO, CEO and owner of IMMAD (Impairment Measurement Marijuana and Driving), shares an update on her company's research during the 2022 American Academy of Optometry meeting held in San Diego.

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Hi, I'm Dr. Denise Valenti. I am the owner of IMMAD (Impairment Measurement Marijuana and Driving), and I'm so pleased to be at this meeting. The Academy has recognized the importance of education for primary care clinicians and clinicians on cannabis.

I attended an incredible lecture by Dr. Ng from Southern California College of Optometry—a comprehensive lecture on basic information and cannabis. I'm excited to be presenting a lecture on driving and cannabis. This is in total conjunction with the area my company researches.

We are excited that we were recently awarded a grant from the federal government—the National Institutes on Justice—to measure a developing technology that looks at retinal function to determine if you're too high to drive.

Part of this project will be in developing a standardized, closed-road, real-car test system to detect impairment functions specific to driving. Now part of this is we're going to be working with a robotic technology that is very novel, we are going to be adapting the National Football League MVP practice dummy. We are turning it into a multi-directional robotic to use roadside as a simulation of our pedestrian.

So we are so excited that we have this opportunity to advance our research, but again, we're happy that the Academy recognizes how important it is for clinicians to know about cannabis/marijuana use and the impact on their patient.

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