Agency : University of California San Diego (UCSD)
Place : USA
The University California San Diego is one of the world’s leading public research universities, located in beautiful La Jolla, California. The founders of this university had one criterion for the campus: it must be distinctive.
Objective / insight
What if I told you that your phone could provide a quick and easy neurological diagnosis? Thanks to research at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), it will soon be possible to detect neurological diseases or disorders such as Alzheimer’s, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and many others. How can this be done? The answer lies in your pupils ! The UCSD researchers aim to facilitate the diagnosis and monitoring of neurological diseases and disorders by developing a low-cost, non-invasive, easy-to-use tool for the entire population. They are making a point of adapting it for older people. “This could have a huge public health impact” said Eric Granholm, a psychiatry professor at UCSD School of Medicine and director of the MHTech Center
The idea is that we can take a picture of our pupil with our phone, to do a pupil response test at-home. Depending on the pupil’s size, the various measures that result, this provides a lot of information on our cognitive state and allows to diagnose and/or follow the evolution of neurological diseases or disorders.
The technology used for facial recognition in our phone (front-facing NIR camera) allows us to measure our pupil more precisely by distinguishing more easily the colors of the iris and the pupil. It is obviously paired with the RGB selfie camera to take pictures of our eye and “to perform tracking of absolute pupil dilation with sub-millimeter accuracy”. This allows us to see the changes in the size of our pupil.
The application is a success since it allows you to measure the pupil precisely, as a pupilometer would. However, it needs to be further developed to be adapted to all types of people, especially the elderly.