Urine and blood tests can usually only detect substances consumed in the past two to three days. A new technique, devised by Iritech in San Jose, CA, screens for longer-term drug use-up to two weeks-by looking at eye response. A person looks into a binocular-like camera and is exposed to a flash of light. Software calculates how quickly the pupils shrink and recover, compares this response against pupil records stored in a database, and gauges within seconds whether the subject has taken drugs or alcohol during the past several weeks.
Iritech CEO Daniel Daehoon Kim says the test would be best suited as a screening tool for prisons or for employers evaluating job applicants. One possible drawback: some legitimate medications, such as antiseizure drugs, affect pupil response and could cause false positives. The technology is 95 percent accurate, based on clinical studies involving more than 12,000 subjects. The company hopes to give the system its first real-world test this year at a prison in Santa Clara, CA.
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.
AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.
Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.
Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.
What’s next for AI in 2024
Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.