EyeBrain, a company that develops brain function markers for neurological and psychiatric conditions, has announced the launch of a new application to measure eye movement disorders in children when reading. This new medical software, known as “Reading Application”, enables specialists to automatically and quickly assess eye movement parameters in their patients when reading and in particular pinpoint disorders affecting the control of both eyes. This application could also be used to track the progression of eye movement disorders, guide orthoptic visual therapy and monitor the effects of this therapy.
Under normal circumstances, children should be capable of reading after two years in primary school. To have a disability, a child must have a reading age of at least 18 months behind his/her chronological age. Therefore, in theory, a reading disability cannot be diagnosed until year four of primary school.
With this application, EyeBrain provides medical professionals specializing in reading disabilities, including ophthalmologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, orthoptists, neuropsychologists and speech-language pathologists, with new brain function markers for reading. The two-minute eye movement examination can be used to accurately measure certain eye movement parameters during the reading process and thus help to detect these disabilities earlier.
Functional markers are analyzed during the examination by means of reading tasks and visual searching. This involves evaluating the time taken to complete tasks and measuring prosaccades, antisaccades and fixations, as well as the coordination of both eyes during saccades and fixations. A lack of coordination between both eyes is known as a disconjugate gaze. The capacity for coordination of both eyes is linked to convergence and divergence of eye movements and enables a stable gaze. The results are automatically analyzed and then presented in a medical report, which compares each of the markers analyzed to norms for children of the same age.
“Reading disabilities affect between 1 per cent and 15 per cent of children worldwide, depending on the study and the language spoken. Using the software developed by EyeBrain, we can introduce treatment at an earlier stage, therefore increasing its efficacy,” explained Maria-Pia Bucci, research manager at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). “We recently published a study conducted with the Mobile EyeBrain Tracker (EBT) on the detection of disconjugate gazes in dyslexic children in PLoS ONE(1).”
The research that has led to the development of this new product was conducted as part of a collaboration between EyeBrain, the CNRS and the Paris Descartes University, within the Robert-Debre Hospital, which is part of the Assistance Publique des Hopitaux de Paris (the public hospital system in Paris). The research was co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.
“With this new patent-protected medical software unique to our company, EyeBrain has further increased its lead over its competitors in the field of clinical functional markers,” said Serge Kinkingnehun, CEO of EyeBrain. “Thanks to our unique eye-tracking platforms for medical applications, we are able to offer brain function markers which can help in the early diagnosis and monitoring of many conditions.”
(1) M. P. Bucci, N. Nassibi, C.-L. Gerard, E. Bui-Quoc and M. Seassau, ‘Immaturity of the oculomotor saccade and vergence interaction in dyslexic children: evidence from a reading and visual search study’, PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no 3, p. e33458, 2012.
EyeBrain is developing brain function markers for neurological and psychiatric diseases utilizing devices based on eye motricity. They make it possible to test specific regions of the brain by recording and analyzing eye movements using very sophisticated algorithms developed by the company. The devices developed by EyeBrain have filled a void in the devices used in neurology; they complete a standard clinical examination within 20 minutes and at a lower cost than imaging techniques (MRI, scanners). They are also non-invasive relative to other types of examination in standard use (lumbar punctures, blood tests).
The Mobile EyeBrain Tracker (Mobile EBT) comes as a complete package that includes an eye-tracker, a chin rest, two screens and a computer, together with stimulation and analysis software. When used routinely in hospital, it already provides the doctor with information for the early characterization of Parkinsonian syndromes (AMS, PSP, CBD, etc.) and for monitoring multiple sclerosis. The EBT is the only device of this type to have obtained CE marking, while EyeBrain also has ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certification. Eye motricity testing (eye tracking) is paid for by the French social security system.
EyeBrain, which was founded in 2008, is based in the Paris suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine and currently employs 12 people. The company raised EUR 1.2 million from CapDecisif Management and G1JIDF in an initial funding round in 2009 and EUR 3.3 million from Octalfa, Sudinnova and CM-CIC Capital Innovation in a second round in 2012. EyeBrain generates revenues from the sale of its tracker device. It is engaged in collaborations with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the French National Scientific Research Center (CNRS), the Paris Public Hospital Authority (AP-HP) and the University of Paris-Descartes. EyeBrain also has premises within the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute of the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris, which is a world-class research center.
For further information, please go to: http://www.eye-brain.com