JVCKENWOOD is proceeding with the application of Gazefinder, a gaze tracking 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.
Contributing to the Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
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.
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.
In January 2020, JVCKENWOOD began the clinical trial on the assessment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in collaboration with La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia) and Telethon Kids Institute (Perth, Australia). The trial had more than 200 participants ages 2-4, including both those diagnosed with ASD and those with typical development. This trial is now concluded, and the application for approval as a medical device has been filed with Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Also Possibility of Application for Early Diagnosis of Dementia
Gazefinder is expected to be applied to early diagnosis of dementia patients, who will presumably further increase. As simplified and precise cognitive function evaluation devices are required, Gazefinder is a product which can meet this need. JVCKENWOOD worked with a group of researchers at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine to jointly develop a novel cognitive assessment technology. A quick assessment that requires virtually no written or verbal instructions, not only it imposes very little burden on subjects but also can be marketed globally. When tested with 80 subjects at Osaka University Hospital, the assessment demonstrated a high correlation with the existing standard cognitive testing method in which the doctor spends about 20 minutes questioning the patient. The findings of this study have been published by Osaka University and made available to the public on Scientific Reports, an online British scientific journal (link to Scientific Reports). Gazefinder can minimize the mental and physical burden during examination and find out risks of dementia. It then helps encourage early and proper treatment as well as a supporting environment, contributing to reducing the burden of both the patients and their families. As the utilization of Gazefinder advances, we anticipate that we can help solve significant issues related to medical care for seniors, such as dementia and medical expenses.