Part four in a series of articles showcasing some of the inventive ways our partners and customers are using eye tracking in healthcare applications.
Imagine binge-watching your favorite TV-series or movies to cure a medical condition. That’s just what NovaSight, a visionary start-up, is currently trialing to diagnose and treat children with lazy eye (amblyopia).
Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is the leading cause of vision loss in children and can result, for example, from an eye muscle imbalance, uneven refraction error between the eyes, or cataracts. Study findings vary, but lazy eye appears to affect between about 2-5 percent of the population depending on geographic location, with the highest prevalence in Europe. Left untreated, children with amblyopia may develop reading and learning difficulties. If it persists into adulthood, it can dampen academic achievements, sports skills, self-image, and limit many other day-to-day functionalities.
Such consequences may significantly impact an individual’s life, yet they can be mitigated through early detection and effective treatment.
The ability for both eyes to focus on an object simultaneously continues to develop until the age of about 7. For best results, detection and remediation need to take place beforehand.
Today, detection requires trained personnel, and children need to be vision tested at a young age. Once detected, the success rate of traditional treatments, such as the use of eye patches, glasses, and eye drops, depends on the ability of young children to comply with these types of remedies.
NovaSight’s visionary solutions, currently being evaluated in clinical trials, are set to change conventional detection and remediation approaches radically. Leveraging Tobii eye tracking technologies, AI, and big-data analysis along with a sophisticated configuration of advanced eyeglasses, optics, and purpose-built displays, NovaSight’s solutions provide a systematic and objective approach to the detection and treatment of lazy eye.
The system has a powerful portfolio of vision protocols, such as myopia and amblyopia monitoring, binocular and computer vision, reading analysis, and more. Each protocol automatically runs the specific tests relevant to the condition and outputs a clear report, which can be easily understood by the operator and the patient.
NovaSight’s EyeSwiftPRO is designed for both pediatric and adult patients. Patient cooperation is minimal; watching fun short, animated videos is all the test requires.
The CE marked EyeSwiftPRO is NovaSight’s successor to the first generation EyeSwift® device and is commercially available in Europe with US clearance expected in 2024.
For children diagnosed with amblyopia, treatment can take place in the comfort of the child’s home. Wearing a specially-designed pair of eyeglasses, children can watch web-based content on the purpose-built tablet-sized display — CureSight™.
By tracking the gaze position of the dominant eye in real-time, the CureSight system blurs its center of vision, while keeping the rest of the image sharp - and providing the amblyopic eye with a normal, high contrast, image. This stimulates the brain to complete the blurred image from the amblyopic eye, improving its acuity and developing stereoacuity as the eyes learn to work together.
The NovaSight approach is a non-invasive and more comfortable treatment for kids than, say, wearing an eye patch — which they hate!
Compared with the gold standard of patching in children, CureSight is the only method proven to be effective in a large pivotal study to date. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in the treatment group was greater, and second-line improvement showed CureSight 79% vs. patching 61%. The CureSight method also showed improved stereoacuity as both eyes work together.
CureSight is FDA-cleared and CE-marked under the MDR directive and has been commercially available in the US and Europe since the beginning of 2023 — already appearing to be a blockbuster among physicians and patients.
We’ve partnered with Tobii to add the extraordinary power of eye tracking to our treatment solution, which enables us to know exactly where on the screen our patients are looking and adjust what they see precisely. This is a solution that provides both a more effective treatment and a better experience for the patient, and Tobii eye tracking is essential to the technique.
Ran Yam, CEO, NovaSight.
Learning and education
Global business developer at Tobii
As the global business developer for Tobii, I get to help customers integrate eye tracking in their devices and solutions — primarily in the healthcare sector. Personally, I enjoy acting as the bridge between technology and sales, to make sure that customers get what they need, and at the same time ensure that our technology is always the leader in eye tracking.
Research has shown that people with Parkinson’s disease, for example, exhibit persistent ocular tremors during visual fixation. RightEye's solution leverages eye tracking to deliver assessment reports.