EyeBrain has announced the launch of an international clinical trial of its application for dyslexia. The total cost of the program will be EUR 700,000.
The trial will include 120 French, 120 German and 120 English children aged between 6 and 15. It will validate the assessment of ocular motor function indicated by the results of the company's medical device and determine whether ocular motor dysfunction is the same in all these children, or whether it differs according to their mother tongue.
The trial will be conducted at the Robert Debré hospital in Paris, France, in partnership with Inserm, the French national institute of health and medical research, and the University of Lübeck in Germany.
EyeBrain is in discussion with potential partners for the English-speaking component of the trial.
It is noticeable that dyslexia is less prevalent in populations which use a language with a ‘transparent’ orthography (where sounds and letters have a one-to-one relationship, i.e. one sound equals one letter and one letter equals one sound), such as Italian, than in populations which use a language with an ‘opaque’ orthography (where a variety of letters can be used to transcribe the same sound, and letters can be pronounced in different ways), such as English.
The application that EyeBrain has developed focuses on the measurement of ocular motor dysfunction in children whilst reading.
It offers specialists a means of evaluating parameters of ocular motor function quickly and automatically when their patients are reading.
In particular, it provides the ability to define binocular vision disorders in precise detail.
A two-minute ocular motor examination will enable the detailed qualification of specific parameters of ocular motor function in reading. This may help improve early detection of these disorders.
EyeBrain has received a total of EUR 220,000 in EUREKA-Eurostar subsidies for this trial. EUREKA is a European intergovernmental program, working to promote R&D cooperation between European businesses, in a case-by-case collaboration with research institutes.
Through the program, SMEs can obtain a label certifying the quality of the project, and access funding for their collaborative Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) projects.
In turn, developed by both EUREKA and the European Commission, the Eurostars program aims to support innovative, market-oriented SMEs with strong growth potential and involvement in European collaborative projects.
The program’s primary targets are businesses that are investing heavily in R&D.
Following completion of the trial at the end of 2015, EyeBrain plans to market English and German language add-ons to its application for evaluating ocular motor function in children with reading disabilities.
The application that EyeBrain has developed will therefore be available in three languages, French, English and German.
“This trial means that EyeBrain can create new markets with its application for assessing ocular motor function in reading disabilities,” said Serge Kinkingnéhun, CEO of EyeBrain.
Kinkingnéhun continued, “We are seeing real professional interest in this approach. As things stand, there is no system for evaluating and quantifying patients' disabilities in a strictly numerical way. Our approach makes this possible.”
Under normal circumstances, children have learned to read after two years of primary schooling. A disability is defined as a lag of at least 18 months between actual age and reading age.
The percentage of dyslexics in the global population is generally estimated at around 5 per cent, with figures varying from 3 to 10 per cent or up to as much as 12 per cent, depending on the criteria used to define dyslexia (for example, whether assessment of the child's reading level includes consideration of their intellectual level), and the type of orthography used in the language of the population in question.
Around 5 per cent of German-speaking children, 6 to 8 per cent of French-speaking children and up to 15 per cent of English-speaking children are dyslexic.