As an aging population and decreasing birthrate progress in Japan, we face serious social problems such as reduced working population and the accompanying stagnating economy. To suppress the decrease of the working population as much as possible, it is crucial to spur the youth to participate in society and to prolong healthy life expectancy of the elderly.
To address these issues, at JVCKENWOOD we are proceeding with the application of Gazefinder, a gaze tracking and measuring system developed by leveraging our visual and optical technologies that we have cultivated thus far, for medical equipment. Gazefinder enables accurate measurement of the examinee’s line of sight, i.e. the points on the monitor screen that the examinee is looking at. Gaze is closely related to brain activity and gaze measurement enables objective and quantitative assessment of the development of the brain and detection of brain diseases, disorders, etc.
One expected use of Gazefinder is to support the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, which even among developmental disorders is known for involving particular difficulty in communication. According to the “Study Related to Students Who Attend Regular Schools but Require Special Educational Support Based on the Possibility of Having a Developmental Disorder” (academic year of 2012, issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), approximately 6.5% (estimate) of the surveyed students may be “children who do not have disorders in terms of intellectual development but show significant difficulty in studying and behavioral aspects.” This indicates that there are two students in every classroom of an average elementary school, meaning that it is a critical social issue in Japan, which is threatened by a decreasing working population and stagnating economy due to a low birthrate and an aging population.
During childhood, lower grade students explicitly demonstrate their difficulty in studying and behavioral aspects, while for higher grade students various complications arise and become hard to find. Therefore, it is important to identify the symptoms and respond at an early stage. (Source: Materials from the Reporting Meeting of Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, February 2016)
Appropriate diagnoses help to ensure the provision of proper support in educational environments, and to promote the understanding of the people around children with disorders. In addition, early diagnosis makes it possible to provide the necessary support from the time of infancy, which has been proven to be significantly useful for improving a child’s ability to attend regular classes. We therefore recognize that the more children that receive early treatment via the diagnosis support of Gazefinder, the greater the likelihood of leading those children to engage with society in the future.
We are currently conducting clinical trials in Japan and Australia with an eye to obtaining certification for Gazefinder as a supplementary medical device aiding the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Once medical device certification is granted, the Gazefinder will add an objective assessment to a physician’s diagnosis, enhancing the acceptance and understanding of persons raising children with ASD and promoting earlier access to clinical intervention to improve the prognosis of children with ASD.
Image of measurement
Please see the links provided below for further details.
JVCKENWOOD Announces Clinical Trial in Australia with an Eye to Obtaining Medical Device Certification for Gazefinder use as a Supplementary Clinical Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis (press release dated January 10, 2020)