April 08, 2019
2 min read

VA researcher says RightEye data set provides valuable efficiencies

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RightEye LLC has announced the availability of its extensive database of more than 1 billion eye-tracking data points from more than 100,000 patient tests conducted using the RightEye system.

RightEye’s Functional Vision EyeQ tests incorporate more than 650 unique metrics that capture precise information on patients’ eye movements such as alignment and teaming, object tracking, depth perception and dynamic visual acuity, according to a company announcement.

The VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va., is using RightEye technology in its long-term, wide-ranging study on traumatic brain injury and mTBI, which involves not only eye tracking but data from MRI, blood markers, neuropsychology, hearing, vision and balance.

“The VA considers TBI as a predisposing condition for future development of Parkinson’s disease. A lot of my research has gone from eye movement disorders to TBI,” George Gitchel, PhD, MS, associate director of clinical research at the VA Medical Center Richmond (VAMC Richmond), told Primary Care Optometry News.

Gitchel said TBI is a signature injury from the recent wars in the Middle East. VAMC Richmond houses a large trauma clinic and is experienced with these major injuries. Gitchel and fellow researchers are looking into the long-term effects of TBI, such as causing Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s or other comorbidities down the road.

He explained how RightEye is being used for the second round in the TBI study for recording data and its ease of accessibility.

Historically in TBI studies, “it’s difficult to find a population who haven’t had a concussion or aren’t on Ritalin [methylphenidate, Novartis], etc. Having a nice, clean set of population control from the RightEye system is valuable to us,” Gitchel said.

When Gitchel began in eye tracking research, it would take 4 or 5 days per patient to analyze the data, he explained.

“What RightEye does with its analysis in 2 seconds is staggering,” he said. “It truly is an evolutionary leap in eye tracking technology. What they can do now for eye tracking in RightEye is unbelievable. We were able to redirect resources elsewhere and be more efficient with not only grant dollars but our time, and that for me is the most exciting part. It’s truly unbelievable what that technology has allowed us and fellow researchers to do.” – by Abigail Sutton

Disclosure: Gitchel reports potential intellectual property between the VA and Virginia Commonwealth University from potential royalty fees from RightEye and is also employed by the VA Medical Center Richmond.