Health IT, Startups

Entrepreneurs see untapped testing potential of eye tracking exams

The company’s analytical software is intended to be used by optometrists for spotting eye weaknesses to concussion detection.

moneySeveral health tech and medical device companies are developing different approaches to eye exams to make them faster, more convenient and time-sensitive. RightEye is trying to compete in that category as well. It recently raised $2.1 million to advance its eye-tracking analysis software for healthcare applications such as concussion and stroke detection as well as to identify potential vision problems that could undermine performance for the military and professional sports teams.

It claims that its tests evaluate visual acuity, strength and search, according to its website. It launched two tests at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year. Essential Vision is a set of vision tests that seeks to replace standard vision screenings in schools and doctors offices. It also developed Performance Vision, a set of vision tests to help athletes improve performance. It measures markers of athletic ability such as reaction time and depth perception.

In October, it launched NeuroVision, a 15-second eye exam that uses eye tracking to improve care for patients of head injury and stroke.

In response to emailed questions, Right Eye President
Barbara Barclay said its software is applicable to any industry in which vision is relevant to success.

“Currently, the company is pursuing advancements of its technology platform, leveraging the power of its approach in combining science and eye tracking to create vision tests that illuminate health issues in patients in a more accurate, efficient and cost-effective manner.”  

Barclay said it would use the new funding to “heavily invest in marketing, development of distribution channels (in the U.S. and internationally) and partnerships, and investment in further development of our RightEye platform and solutions.”

She said the software has been in development for the past three years.

“While eye tracking has been around for a while, only within the last couple of years has it become small and cost-effective enough to support a truly scaleable platform and delivery system. And while we have started to see some others with ideas in this area, we believe we have a quality lead so we feel good about our timing and competitive positioning.”

The chief science officer and co-founder, Melissa Hunfalvay, previously was the founder and CEO of the Institute of Sport Science. Barclay joined the company in September.

Oculogica is another company that uses eye tracking technology to detect whether there is weakness in the cranial nerves that move eyes as part of an effort to improve diagnostic criteria for concussions.

Photo: Flickr user We Love Costa Rica