Last year we covered RightEye‘s announcement of Brain Health EyeQ, an eye-tracking platform for medical diagnosis and performance training. EyeQ uses a tablet equipped with cameras to track small eye movements called saccades. The platform analyzes the movement data to make quantified decisions about neurological problems and other brain functions. At that time RightEye also presented research that demonstrated the platform’s use in the identification and measurement of the severity of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

RightEye is back in the news, announcing results in the online journal Concussion of a study in which Brain Health EyeQ proved it could effectively differentiate between patients with moderate and severe levels of TBIs. The key factor in the EyeRight measurements was the ability to follow objects as they move up and down, a function called vertical smooth pursuit (VSP).

The VSP tracking success isn’t just another measure, however. Conventional eye-tracking tests require subjective judgments by trained examiners based on the variances from baseline norms of multiple types of saccades. The Brain Health EyeQ performance with VSP measurement was equal to variance testing. One key feature of the test is that it did not require comparison to a baseline measure for each individual subject.

VSP tracking isn’t the complete and final solution to diagnosing both the presence and severity of concussion or TBI, however. The study showed superior performance with VSP tracking in differentiating between moderate and severe TBI and between both moderate and severe TBI and control samples with no brain injury. VSP tracking and analysis was not able to differentiate between the control group and mild TBI (mTBI), however. VSP tracking still matches the effectiveness of conventional variances tests, which also fail in accurately differentiating between controls and MTBIs.

So the Brain Health EyeQ is a win because of its speed and accuracy without needing a baseline to detect moderate and severe concussions and TBI. As with many health conditions, faster diagnoses mean appropriate treatments can begin quicker. While there may be work remaining to be done in fine-tuning or augmenting VSP tracking to deal with mTBI cases, it could be a boon for healthcare professionals trying to assess the injury caused by head impacts.