- Anders Lundin
- March 27, 2020 | 5 min
Four inspiring healthcare use cases — how eye tracking benefits people and businesses
The healthcare industry has been a pioneer and driver of innovation in the use of eye tracking technology. The range of successful use cases shows that eye tracking has long passed the phase of being an emerging technology. Today, the use of eye tracking in healthcare has become established, with a positive impact on the lives of patients, doctors, and researchers.
The growing use of eye tracking among a range of global user groups hasn’t gone unnoticed. This recent article in The Wall Street Journal highlights how eye tracking is changing people’s lives and powering business innovation using Tobii technology. A must-read if you want to learn more about eye tracking, its benefits, and how the technology has been put to good use.
In this post, I take a look at the four inspiring Tobii use cases, mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article, with useful links to more detailed descriptions.
Eye tracking empowers voice — and changes lives
One man who can attest to the life-changing qualities of eye tracking is New Yorker Pat Quinn. Pat suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and is almost completely paralyzed. He communicates with his eyes, using his vision to interact with his assistive product, a Tobii Dynavox device. He can choose files or type letters on the screen by just looking at them, and can convert text into audio. The device empowers Pat Quinn with a voice.
I honestly don’t know how patients remained active without this. I use it every second I am awake, Mr. Quinn stated.
Quinn has become well-known as an advocate for patients with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In 2014, he co-created the Ice Bucket Challenge, a social media campaign that raised 115 million USD for ALS research.
Some eye tracking applications go far beyond helping people to communicate. Healthcare professionals use the technology to help teach medical students, to improve workflow in surgeries, and help with the detection of diseases such as Parkinson’s and vision issues, such as nearsightedness. Some innovative companies have been able to use the technology in the treatment of vision defects.
Eye tracking powering business innovation
US-based medical device maker ControlRad develops products that reduce radiation exposure in surgical procedures that require continuous use of X-rays. The aim is to help ease concerns about radiation-related health risks — not only for patients, but for physicians and healthcare professionals who are frequently exposed.
To address the concerns, ControlRad has developed a system that uses Tobii eye-tracking to help reduce radiation exposure during surgery for patients and clinical staff. Leveraging gaze data supplied by eye tracking, the ControlRad product applies low-dose radiation to the body, limiting the use of high-energy radiation to the surgeon’s point of interest.
Another innovative example of eye-tracking in healthcare products belongs to the Israeli company NovaSight. Their vision-assessment system requires patients to watch just a short 1-minute video on a custom tablet-like device to detect common vision defects. Their solution combines advanced eye tracking and sophisticated artificial intelligence to detect and treat amblyopia, a vision disorder commonly known as lazy eye, which is the leading cause of vision loss in children.
The solution utilizes 3D image processing algorithms and Tobii eye tracking technology to blur the image where the patient’s dominant eye looks. This natural approach to treatment improves patient vision while they watch their favorite movies and TV programs from the comfort of their own home.
The American company RightEye has developed and commercialized an easy-to-use eye tracking solution, helping healthcare professionals and performance specialists treat patients and clients.
Health issues associated with eye movement, especially ones that affect vision, are often difficult for clinical staff to identify. RightEye combines its software solution with Tobii hardware to provide a tool that is revolutionizing the vision care space, allowing doctors to offer services such as reading, sports vision, and functional vision assessments.
In addition to the Wall Street Journal article, you can also find more information on Tobii’s websites related to eye tracking in healthcare: