Conducting Research for Application Development
Research is an essential part of EyeGage’s mobile application development. In order to understand how the characteristics of the eye works, studying the difference of pupil size, eye color, and reaction time assists in determining key indicators of alcohol consumption.
EyeGage actively conducts research trials to develop an algorithm using eye images to create technology that is non-invasive and can provide results quickly. This technology will allow individuals to assess alcohol levels before deciding to operate vehicles and even heavy machinery.
Dr. LaVonda Brown, Founder of EyeGage, explains why research and development is important to creating this technology.
“The EyeGage drug screening technology uses machine learning techniques to scan eyes for drugs and alcohol. The basis of machine learning algorithm development is data collection; a machine learning algorithm is only as good as the data used to develop it. Generally speaking, a large amount of data is required. However, to ensure that the algorithm is not biased, diverse data is needed,” said Dr. Brown.
Current alcohol-screening measurements include:
- Blood Alcohol Test (BAC) - most accurate of all alcohol-screening tests, but requires blood subtraction and results are not immediate.
- Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) - requires a breathalyzer and is most commonly available to law enforcement officials. Results can be inaccurate in certain situations.
- Urine test for Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) - requires laboratory analysis and results are not immediate.
- Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) - due to user initiation, inaccuracies are common and may not be performed accurately.
In order to innovate current alcohol-screenings, research through machine learning is the building block for further development for a more accurate, non-invasive test. Dr. Brown states, “We are collecting eye data in the form of videos and images. Diverse data equates to eye data from different age groups, ethnicity, eye color, sex, weight, etc. We have federal approval through the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct human-subject research at the EyeGage facility in Atlanta, GA. The IRB research protocol involves administering alcohol to 500 participants until they reach a 0.08% BAC, while also observing their eye behavior through images and videos.”
Research trials are informing the EyeGage team to modify and develop the following mobile application features:
- Should I Drive?
- Eye Health
- Drug and Alcohol Assessment
Curated to be safe and fun for participants 21 and up, The EyeGage team provides an atmosphere similar to a happy hour. “A DJ is on-site to provide music, which creates a fun environment to drink, sing, and dance,” according to Dr. Brown.
Transportation is additionally provided to participants and those who do decide to drive are not permitted to leave the facility until BAC is 0.00. Testing lasts no more than 8 hours and two final breathalyzer measurements will be taken before participants can leave the facility.
Records are kept private to the extent allowed by law. Only Dr. Brown and the research team will have access to data collected. To protect participant’s privacy, records will be kept under a code number rather than name, and any facts that may be identifiable will not appear when the study results are presented or published.
Interested in joining a research trail or have any questions, visit https://www.eyegage.com/research or email Dr. LaVonda Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.