The human eye doesn’t get the most limelight in the healthcare world. But vision is so essential to life itself, and when the eyes and brain don’t work in harmony, problems can arise.
Through its eye-tracking tests, Bethesda, Maryland-based RightEye has set out to boost awareness about how important vision-related issues are.
“It’s giving everybody everywhere the opportunity to have this identified and remedied earlier so people have better lives,” RightEye President Barbara Barclay said during an interview at CES in Las Vegas.
The startup’s tests and vision training games are for healthcare applications ranging from concussions to Parkinson’s to autism. Additionally, they apply to people with reading issues and athletes whose vision could undermine their performance.
“Today, people are being poorly diagnosed with brain injuries,” Barclay said.
She went on to explain a few applications. “Reading issues are misdiagnosed as having ADHD,” Barclay said. “On the sports side, it’s, ‘How do I go from good to great?’ On the brain health side, it’s about giving people baselines for the entire family.”
The EyeQ tests are available via a portable computer with an embedded eye tracker. Specifically, the tests measure and analyze people’s eye movements. Doctors or coaches then receive a report, which references information from peer-reviewed publications and provides potential treatment options for the patient.
While at CES, I got the chance to try out one of RightEye’s tests. I sat in front of a computer at the startup’s booth and completed a series of eye-related assessments and games.
One game, for instance, tracked my eye movements by prompting me to “shoot down” certain asteroids by looking at them. Other asteroids were considered bad, and I had to avoid glancing at them as they moved across the screen.
The software also tracked my eyes as I read a short passage. Usually test takers answer a series of questions at the end of the reading assessment (though I did not). Still, after I finished reading, I got to watch a replay of how my eyes moved across the page, which made it pretty clear that I reread certain sentences and lingered over specific sections of the passage.
Overall, my results were fairly normal — aside from the fact that one of my eyes had the occasional tendency to overshoot.
Barclay said the company’s tests are available to doctors, hospitals, sports teams and schools. RightEye currently has about 150 customers, she added.
Looking ahead, its next goals are growth and expanding its software’s capabilities.
“We’re now getting ready to expand rapidly,” she said. “On the EyeQ side, this is phase one. Phase two, which begins in Q3, focuses on what we know and can predict about the person through the test.”
Photo: Jay_Zynism, Getty Images