Dr. de Villers-Sidani was amongst the three McGill researchers presented their work to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions (a.k.a. “Summer Davos”) on September 18, in Tianjin, China. It’s the foremost global summit on innovation, science and technology, promoting entrepreneurship in the global public interest.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has been shaping the future of business and society, bringing together leaders from major multinationals, government, media, academia and civil society, since 2007.
“I have been working on improving communication for those who cannot adequately communicate because of neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” says Dr. de Villers-Sidani. “Eye movements remain largely intact in most neurological and medical conditions, thus making communication with these individuals possible. We are working on developing an app that works with any mobile device (tablet, smartphone) equipped with a camera. Using our eye-tracking technology, patients can control a cursor on their device using only their eye movements, allowing them to rapidly communicate with others by selecting pre-defined sentences and words on the screen. Science in the service of the public is a way for us to give back to improve quality of life for patients.”