A new study concludes that eye-tracking technology from RightEye, Bethesda, Md, accurately measures deficits in certain eye movements caused by a concussion.1 RightEye says that data provided by the FDA-approved technology offer an objective, reliable, and quantifiable way of differentiating among individuals with different severities of concussion, and provide guidance on the path to recovery.

Given the limitations and inconsistencies of today’s most common screening protocols for traumatic brain injury (TBI), there is a need for more objective and specific methods to assist doctors in the detection and diagnosis of TBIs. Unlike conventional ‘follow-my-finger’ screening methods that rely solely on a practitioner’s observations, RightEye’s technology quickly delivers precise eye-movement data by surveying the eye several times per second and recording its movements. The technology uncovers even the smallest eye movement deficits that are often missed using traditional analog screening methods, such as vestibular/ocular-motor screening.

The study found that functional vision tests using RightEye’s eye-tracking technology are a useful and objective measure of underlying neurological health that indicates the presence of TBIs. Furthermore, particular metrics have shown promise in being able to differentiate mild, moderate, and severe TBI cases.


Melissa Hunfalvay, PhD, RightEye.

“Concussions are a significant international public health concern, yet the methods currently used for detection are manual and subjective,” says Melissa Hunfalvay, PhD, cofounder and chief science officer at RightEye, and a coauthor of the study. “In addition, not all concussions are the same, yet patients usually lack a clear understanding of the severity of a concussion as well as the road to recovery. Eye tracking provides doctors and other healthcare professionals with a fast and objective tool for assessing concussions and other TBIs.”

The study demonstrates the effectiveness of digital eye-tracking tests such as RightEye’s BrainHealth EyeQ for detecting abnormal eye movement behavior “associated with concussions of varying severity,” says Hunfalvay.

A wide range of medical professionals can use eye tracking, including neurologists, optometrists, and primary care physicians, according to RightEye. Beyond helping doctors detect and diagnose concussions, eye-tracking technology can be used to assist in determining appropriate treatment programs and to help in assessing when it is safe for patients to return to normal activity after sustaining a concussion.

“I recommend baseline eye-tracking screenings for everyone, especially children,” says Tanya Polec, OD, FCOVD, of the Sports Medicine Rehabilitation and Concussion Center and VQ Learning Sports Rehab. “The reality is that a TBI can result from a car accident, playing sports, or a playground fall. All too often, these ‘stealth concussions’ go undiagnosed and untreated, with severely negative consequences that affect adults’ ability to perform routine tasks and kids’ ability to learn and function in school.”

“Concussions remain one of the most difficult neurological issues to detect and accurately diagnose,” says Mark Baron, MD, a neurologist in the Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders center at Virginia Commonwealth University and deputy director of the Southeast Veterans Affairs Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center. “Sadly, a significant percent of patients who have sustained a mild injury go undiagnosed. Having a tool that allows doctors to quickly and objectively analyze the neurological health of people could help uncover countless hidden concussions and empower doctors to create tailored treatment plans in line with the severity of the injury. Critically, having rapid access to quantifiable eye-tracking data about the neurological health of people will allow doctors to precisely monitor treatment progress and confidently approve individuals to return to their normal activities.”

The study was the first to systematically examine the use of eye-tracking technology for researching differences in horizontal and vertical saccades between people with no history of TBI and patients with a clinical diagnosis of TBI. The study recruited and enrolled 195 subjects from eye health clinics in the United States. All subjects performed a horizontal saccade test and a vertical saccade test using RightEye’s technology.

Among the study subjects there were 64 mild TBI, 57 moderate TBI, and 23 severe TBI cases that were clinically verified by a board-certified neurologist or neurooptometrist according to medical diagnosis guidelines. There were 51 subjects reporting no history of TBI. The subjects with TBI had sustained their head injuries no more than 30 days prior to testing.

RightEye predicts that over the next 5 to 10 years the use of simple, user-friendly eye-tracking tests similar to the ones used in the study will be commonly used to help healthcare professionals diagnose traumatic brain injuries, determine their severity, and monitor recovery. Because the tests are simple and quick to administer, research in the use of this technology for sports may prove fruitful, especially for making return-to-play decisions following an athlete’s TBI diagnosis, the company says.

For more information, visit RightEye,


  1. Hunfalvay M, Roberts CM, Murray N, Tyagi A, Kelly H, Bolte T. Horizontal and vertical self-paced saccades as a diagnostic marker of traumatic brain injury. Concussion. 2019;4(1):cnc60; doi: 10.2217/cnc-2019-0001.