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 2-4 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.
Detection with NovaSight’s EyeSwift® system relies on eye tracking to evaluate the patient’s vision. Specially designed for young children and toddlers, the child watches a cute graphical character on a screen for less than a minute to produce an accurate and objective assessment of several vision functions such as visual acuity, binocularity, and convergence ability.
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™. Eye tracking technology and sophisticated real-time 3D image processing algorithms train the eyes while the child enjoys their favorite movies and shows.
The NovaSight approach is a non-invasive and more comfortable treatment for kids than say wearing an eye patch — which they hate! The clinical trials conducted so far show improved treatment results. With CureSight™, children develop a stereoscopic vision; an outcome that traditional monocular patching rarely achieves.
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.
Essilor, NovaSight’s global partner and world leader in the ophthalmic optics market, is the primary vendor for the EyeSwift® system. NovaSight will shortly launch a multicenter randomized clinical trial in the US, to compare the efficacy of the CureSight™ system with patching treatments.
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.