We are creating an automatic tool for the diagnosis of visual defects in small children. The advances in eye tracking technology have opened up a whole new world of possibilities in this research area.
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Diagnosing visual defects is specially challenging when the patient is a baby or a small child. The difficulty to communicate with small children makes it impossible to apply techniques designed for adults, such as reading letters out loud, and the methods that are currently being used to diagnose them are imprecise and inefficient. However, early detection of visual defects can make a big difference in the quality of life and cognitive development of children. For that reason, we are collaborating in a multidisciplinary project with ophthalmologists from the Miguel Servet Hospital (Zaragoza, Spain) to create a tool that can help diagnose visual defects in small children accurately and systematically. Eye tracking technology allows us to detect where the patient is looking at with high accuracy and precision. Coupling this technology with smartly designed stimuli, we can perform several tests to evaluate the visual capacity of small children without the need for them to follow any specific instructions.
Abstract: Background: To quantify development of gaze stability throughout life during short and long fixational tasks using eye tracking technology. Methods: Two hundred and fifty-nine participants aged between 5 months and 77 years were recruited along the study. All participants underwent a complete ophthalmological assessment. Fixational behavior during long and short fixational tasks was analyzed using a DIVE (Device for an Integral Visual Examination), a digital test assisted with eye tracking technology. The participants were divided into ten groups according to their age. Group 1, 0–2 years; group 2, 2–5 years; group 3, 5–10 years; group 4, 10–20 years; group 5, 20–30 years; group 6, 30–40 years; group 7, 40–50 years; group 8, 50–60 years; group 9, 60–70 years; and group 10, over 70 years. Results: Gaze stability, assessed by logBCEA (log-transformed bivariate contour ellipse area), improved with age from 5 months to 30 years (1.27 vs. 0.57 deg2 for long fixational task, 0.73 vs. −0.04 deg2 for short fixational task), while fixations tend to be longer (1.95 vs. 2.80 msec for long fixational tasks and 0.80 vs. 1.71 msec for short fixational tasks). All fixational outcomes worsened progressively from the fifth decade of life. Log-transformed bivariate contour ellipse area (0.79, 0.83, 0.91, 1.42 deg2 for long fixational task and 0.01, 0.18, 0.28, 0.44 deg2 for short fixational task, for group 7, 8, 9, and 10 respectively). Stimuli features may influence oculomotor performance, with smaller stimuli providing prolonged fixations. Conclusions: Fixational behavior can be accurately assessed from 5 months of age using a DIVE. We report normative data of gaze stability and duration of fixations for every age group. Currently available technology may increase the accuracy of our visual assessments at any age.
Abstract: Around 70% to 80% of the 19 million visually disabled children in the world are due to a preventable or curable disease, if detected early enough. Vision screening in childhood is an evidence-based and cost-effective way to detect visual disorders. However, current screening programmes face several limitations: training required to perform them efficiently, lack of accurate screening tools and poor collaboration from young children. Some of these limitations can be overcome by new digital tools. Implementing a system based on artificial intelligence systems avoid the challenge of interpreting visual outcomes. The objective of the TrackAI Project is to develop a system to identify children with visual disorders. The system will have two main components: a novel visual test implemented in a digital device, DIVE (Device for an Integral Visual Examination); and artificial intelligence algorithms that will run on a smartphone to analyse automatically the visual data gathered by DIVE.
Abstract: We aim to assess oculomotor behaviour in children adopted from Eastern Europe, who are at high risk of maternal alcohol consumption. This cross‐sectional study included 29 adoptees and 29 age‐matched controls. All of them underwent a complete ophthalmological examination. Oculomotor control, including fixation and saccadic performance, was assessed using a DIVE device, with eye tracking technology. Anthropometric and facial measurements were obtained from all the adopted children, to identify features of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Fixational and saccadic outcomes were compared between groups, and the effect of adoption and FASD features quantified.