Eye Tracking Technology Detects Traumatic Brain Injury With Sensitivity and Specificity

  • Brain Concussion
  • Brain Injury

Research findings published in Concussion show that measurement of horizontal saccades with eye-tracking technology (Brain Health EyeQ; RightEye, Bethesda, MD) has a 77% sensitivity and 78% specificity for identifying traumatic brain injury (TBI). Vertical saccade measurement had 64% sensitivity and 65% specificity.

“Having a tool that allows doctors to quickly and objectively analyze the neurological health of people could help uncover countless hidden concussions and empower doctors to create tailored treatment plans in line with the severity of the injury,” said Mark Baron, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. “Critically, having rapid access to quantifiable eye-tracking data about the neurological health of people will allow doctors to precisely monitor treatment progress and confidently approve individuals to return to their normal activities.”  

Eye-tracking technology measures eye movements several times per second and detects small changes that can be missed using traditional/analog screening methods such as vestibular/ocular-motor screening (VOMS). For the study,195 participants were recruited from eye health clinics in the US; 51 had mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), 64 had moderate TBI, 23 had severe TBI, and 57 had no history of TBI. The patients who experienced TBI sustained their injuries no more than 30 days before testing. 

“Eye tracking provides doctors and other healthcare professionals with a fast and objective tool for assessing concussions and other TBIs,” said Melissa Hunfalvay, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer, RightEye. “This study demonstrates that digital eye tracking tests, such as RightEye’s Brain Health EyeQ, are capable of providing doctors with the data they need to quickly and precisely uncover abnormal eye movement behavior that can be associated with concussions of varying severity.”

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