Metro Atlanta businesswoman LaVonda Brown started her company Eye Gage last year just as the pandemic began.
Inspired by her personal experience with a loved one who was an alcoholic, as well as her technical experience as an engineer, Brown created an app that takes a picture of your eye to determine the drug and alcohol levels. This app is for the public to use to access levels of alcohol to determine if they need to use rideshare.
Brown, who holds multiple degrees from Georgia Tech, also said her company is in the research and development stage, as she anticipates working with high-risk companies, like construction and transportation companies, where the app will be used to decrease accidents on the job.
During college, Brown studied eye behavior, using technology for education purposes to determine how the eyes were affected by engaging and using technology. With her app, the scan of the photo of someone’s eye can show a mild cognitive impairment based on the scanned image.
“I knew someone with a drinking problem. At the same time, I was studying eye behavior. I’d noticed at times the person had red eyes that were glossed over and slow to respond,” said Brown. “Because of this, I knew I wanted to do eye tracking. With people being greatly affected by drugs and alcohol, I felt this was a very promising market to start my company. Alcoholism and drug addiction can tear a family apart. I want to help.”
Brown feels it is easier if people can see alcohol levels from her app or a phone than to hear it from someone else and that is how Eye Gage was developed. She says it is a great app for people with drinking problems and those who they affect.
The app is a data collection app that is currently available on Apple for I-Phone use. With the app, people can share pictures and videos of their eyes. The app also lets people know if they should call an Uber. She is currently in software licensing negotiations to get the app available for android users. Another feature with the app is what is called the “friend gage,” where people can have an accountability partner to share information with and being able to see Eye Gage results. The app also displays eye health information.
Brown says the app may not be helpful for those who are over the drinking limit (.08) or for people who are too intoxicated and blacking out. The app is good for those who are not legally drunk and is good to use to see how impaired someone is.
“The app is for sober eyes and for people under the influence who want to share their eye health and information,” said Brown. “Safety is a concern for people at work, with flying planes and trains. For example, UPS can use the app for its truck drivers to determine if it is ok for them to drive. In the future, the app will be available on all phones and will be a feature on phones like Apple Health and Google Health.”