Blog: EYE-SYNC Webinar: What is EYE-SYNC?
Recently, we hosted a webinar featuring Chief Clinical Officer, Scott Anderson, who joined us to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding EYE-SYNC. There are many questions we get asked about EYE-SYNC and we wanted to make sure we answered most of them. Again, we had questions during the Q&A, so we have provided a recap of all the questions asked throughout the entire webinar below. Many thanks to everyone in attendance and check out our next webinar in January 2020!
1. What is EYE-SYNC?
EYE-SYNC is a non-invasive, mobile, virtual reality-based eye tracking platform. The system is designed to support the clinician during patient assessment, in the monitoring of recovery, and in enhancement of dynamic visual performance.
2. What is the history of EYE-SYNC?
Believe it or not, EYE-SYNC has a long-standing history of R&D, supported over a 12-year period by the Brain Trauma Foundation, a non-profit organization started by SyncThink founder Jam Ghajar, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University, and the Department of Defense. The military expressed an interest in developing a portable eye tracking system to be used to determine combat readiness in soldiers and identify impairments to justify removal from active duty. During a ten-year period, the DoD awarded over 36M in research funding, and worked closely with Dr. Ghajar to develop the evidence base behind our EYE-SYNC metrics and to develop field enabled prototypes of the EYE-SYNC device.
3. How does EYE-SYNC work?
The EYE-SYNC system consists of 3 hardware components. The headset is a modified VR goggle equipped with infrared cameras and emitters than provide a light-based stimulus for the patient to interact with. The goggle attaches a phone that runs our software to it, and the phone connects to tablet via Bluetooth that the clinician uses to monitor the patient during test administration and to view and manage patient records and results.
The tablet is equipped with a Verizon cellular network, which connects to our cloud to securely store all data captured in a HIPAA compliant, and de-identified manner. It is here that data can be transferred electronically in pdf format or via our API.
4. How does EYE-SYNC add value to my practice?
When discussing value, four distinct items come to mind. First, the EYE-SYNC system can be enabled to function like a head health Electronic Medical Record (EMR). In addition to the core eye tracking paradigms, the platform is equipped to enable robust data collection for everything including patient demographics, prior medical history, current medication use, etc. Our rest API can also be configured to transfer all raw data elements, including eye tracking variables to a third-party database or other Electronic Medical Record system.
The second value add is around the objective data collected. In many neuro health conditions, there is a lack of objective data, making the diagnosis dependent on the patient’s subjective complaints and disposition. These data can be incorporated into the clinical decision-making process to support diagnosis, guide therapy, and determine the effectiveness of targeted treatment.
The next value add is in the streamlining of the workflow. Many EYE-SYNC users utilize the system as a way to capture relevant patient data in on place. For example, common workflow items, questionnaires, and patient inventories have been digitized on the platform the further facilitate data collection and ease of use. For example, we utilize a PHQ-9 or BSI-18 inventories in patients that are suspected to be suffering from anxiety and/or depression, or the CAARS questionnaire for patients with ADHD.
Finally, and most commonly discussed amongst EYE-SYNC users, is how much time is saved by using the platform for routine patient evaluation and decision making. By saving time, the clinician is able to streamline the documentation process, and be more efficient, which allows more time for individualized patient interaction and treatment planning.
5. What prior research supports Eye-Sync?
We have over 30 publications on the topic of EYE-SYNC. During our extensive research, EYE-SYNC was used to determine and differentiate the various eye movement markers that are specific to certain conditions, some of which are pathological, and others which are developmental. Much of our research has been focused on TBI, where Dr. Ghajar has led pioneering efforts to develop evidence-based guidelines. Overall, we have studies developmental conditions that impact learning, such as ADHD, acute conditions particularly in athletes around concussion, and neurodegenerative disease in the aging population. This work continues today, but is also available on our website.
6. When is the best time to use EYE-SYNC during a patient’s care?
EYE-SYNC can be used to support the clinical diagnosis made by a healthcare professional, to serially monitor the patient as the improve and progress in the rehabilitation phase, and as a test-retest tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the clinician’s preferred treatment intervention.
7. How do I interpret the results?
EYE-SYNC results are all about variance. How much variance do we see between what the eyes are doing and where the stimulus is located? The can be compared to a baseline measure or normal results to determine the extent of impaired function.
8. What is the age range for using EYE-SYNC?
Currently EYE-SYNC is cleared for use with all ages, however what we have seen is more variability and less reliability in the pre-pubescent population and the elderly. Technically we have normative data captured between ages 7-70, but we currently recommend usage after puberty for consistently accurate results.
9. How are some current customers already using EYE-SYNC?
Referring to clinical user bases, our sports customers primarily use this as a point of care tool to be deployed on the field or nearby in order to assist in making a diagnosis. In the healthcare setting EYE-SYNC is being used primarily amongst neuro and sports medicine professionals during the initial evaluation and follow rehabilitation with the treating physical therapist. We also have other professionals in the optometry space and neuro chiro space using the technology to support clinical decision making.
10. What current research is Eye-Sync being used in?
Ongoing research involving EYE-SYNC is being done in developing ages for ADHD and concussion, in young athletes and adults with concussion, and in the aging population in the evaluation of neurodegenerative disease.
11. Does this measure visual acuity?
EYE-SYNC does not measure visual acuity. EYE-SYNC is utilized to measure brain performance through objective measurement of the eyes. When items in our visual world begin to move, our eyes have to be directed to the stimulus by the brain in order to interact with it. We refer to this as dynamic visual synchronization – your brain must synchronize you to current outside events so that you may be oriented properly in order to interact with them.
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