Thursday, October 29, 2009

eye tracker

Met up with a friend working in Sweden for a company who make eye tracking software. The human eye is a dynamic camera that is pulled into action by six muscles each externally and one internally. Our gaze can reveal deep pyschological patterns. Desomnd Morris, a trained psychologist used gaze tracking to study the pattern in which one looks at a picture. Ad industry has used it to track the items of interest to customers and this information has been used to determine the hierarchy of product placement in supermarket shelves.

In criminology it can be adapted to be used as an advanced lie detector. When shown a picture of the crime scene, only one person will know the exact location of suspect items...the criminal. When I had my eyes tracked it was embarassing, as the picture shown was of a beauty in bikini. You dont want this kind of information to be shown with percentages on the areas seen most. Behavioural psychology can have many interesting experiments using this technology.

Medicos learn by observing. Our teachers used to always tell us to be like a sponge and absorb as much as you can. Interpreting images is a skill acquired by experience. No medical school curriculum can teach 100% all the possible images that one would be expected to interpret over a lifetime. They can and do teach the Process...the way to look at a medical image and decide, abnormal/normal first. Qualitative and then quantitative interpretation for the abnormality flows out as an impression. When we watch experienced clinicians look at a CT scan, xray, ecg, foetal monitor ctg or eeg and read it like the bible effortlessly, that makes us turn green with envy. When asked to teach a fresher on how that interpretation is done many a times the same clinician fails miserably :( We can walk but not necessarily know all the possible mechanisms which run in the background. The fact that only a few can be good Teachers, holds very true as to teach one must first know. The comes the difficult task of translating that into words that will explain it to another person. Work, Research and Teaching are a holy triumvirate and few have scaled this peak! Eye tracker can be a useful adjunt to analysze medical image interpretaion by a Consultant.

The technology is so small and sleek that Mercedes, BMW, Audi provide it as a nice addon to their higher range of cars. It sits snugly on the rear view mirror and monitors the drivers eyes. The moment he dozes, it warns visually and audibly to alert the driver.
What an idea sirji?