Your Next Vision Exam May Involve Playing Video Games

Your Next Vision Exam May Involve Playing Video Games
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This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

RightEye LLC is debuting new PC video games with eye-tracking technology at CES 2016 that will help eye doctors more accurately test vision.

More than half of the kids that go through school or pediatric vision screenings every year have vision disorders that go unnoticed, according to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals.

An estimated 10 million children suffer from vision problems, according to the National Parent Teacher Association. And the American Optometric Association found that 60% of students identified as “problem learners” have undetected vision problems.

“There hasn’t been a significant change or improvement in tools for vision testing in more than two decades,” says Adam Gross, CEO and co-founder of RightEye. “With gaming, you can fully engage the patients and provide a fun, yet effective way to gain immediate interaction and response.”

Advances in eye tracking technology, which are now being used in the video game industry as well as virtual reality and augmented reality markets, have allowed RightEye to design its new tests.

Gross says focusing on video games was as much about the science of tracking and collecting information about patients’ vision, as it is about the psychology in having a testing format that appeals to a wide range of ages and cognitive abilities—from children through elderly—regardless of reading or language skills.

Patient interaction varies from the simply following a point around a circle on the screen to more complex scenarios that require the patient to make a cognitive decision—should the image popping onto the screen be saved (the world) or destroyed (an alien).

“Some tests, such as that for depth perception, require the use of 3D gaming glasses,” Gross says. “That test asks the patient to decide if the image is moving towards them or not.”

The company is demonstrating two new categories of vision tests at CES, both of which use video games and eye tracking technology. Gross says RightEye Essential Vision has been designed to one day replace the standard vision screenings used around the world.

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