This eye-tracking system uses AI to monitor multiple sclerosis

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
Darunechka via Getty Images

For decades, doctors have used eye movement to quickly triage brain health, as eye movement patterns can point to conditions like concussion or stroke. Now, C. Light Technologies, a neurotech and AI company that grew out of the Berkeley Skydeck accelerator, wants to help doctors diagnose neurological conditions with more speed and precision. The company has developed an eye-tracking technology paired with machine learning that can be used to monitor multiple sclerosis (MS).

Patients simply fixate their eyes on a target for 10 seconds. The system records a video and uses machine learning to predict neurological impairment. While other eye-tracking technologies look at pupil movement, C. Light observes the retina and can detect movements 1/100th the size of a human hair. Patients don't need to have their eyes dilated or use eye drops, and they can blink during the process.

In the future, C. Light hopes to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and concussions. Diagnosing and monitoring these diseases is costly and time-consuming, and delayed diagnosis can lead to more challenges. C. Light's technology could help doctors quickly see the state of the disease and determine how well a particular medication is working, so that therapies can be adjusted to suit the patient.

"The back of your eye is actually the front of your brain," said Dr. Zachary Helft, C. Light co-founder. "We use AI paired with eye tracking to create a digital fingerprint of your neurological health, with unprecedented speed and sensitivity."

Update 2/12/2020 7:15PM ET: This story and headline originally said C. Light can be used to diagnose MS, which it does not. C. Light can be used to monitor MS symptoms and assess drug efficacy. We apologize for this error.