EyeGo adapters let you perform eye exams with a smartphone
One of the EyeGo adapters, used for examining the retina
When it comes to thoroughly assessing the condition of someone's eyes, it's usually necessary to utilize large, expensive contraptions such as those found in an ophthalmologist's office. While that's OK in some situations, physicians in rural areas or developing nations might not have access to such technology. Additionally, emergency room personnel typically need information on-the-spot, ASAP. That's why two scientists from Stanford University have created the EyeGo system, which allows smartphones to do the job.
Developed by assistant professor of ophthalmology Dr. Robert Chang and ophthalmology resident Dr. David Myung, the system consists of two adapters that are simply added to an existing smartphone camera – one of them gets shots of the front surface of the eye, while the other focuses light through the pupil to get pics of the retina, along the back of the eye.
According to the university, EyeGo is designed to "make it easy for anyone with minimal training to take a picture of the eye and share it securely with other health practitioners or store it in the patient’s electronic record."
A retinal image obtained using EyeGo
Myung built the first prototypes from a variety of inexpensive commercially-available components, including macrolenses and Lego bricks. Computer models of those prototypes were subsequently created, which were in turn used to make slicker 3D-printed versions of the adapters.
Those are now being tested in a clinical trial at the Stanford Emergency Department. A second study will use them to track the progression of eye disease in diabetics.
The scientists have recently received funding to commercialize the EyeGo system. Each adapter currently costs about US$90 to produce, although it is hoped that large-scale production could drive that figure even lower. Perhaps not surprisingly, however, it isn't the only system of its kind. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and at the Peek group have created smartphone-based eye examination kits for use with iPhone and Android devices, respectively.
Source: Stanford University
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
More and more im seeing medical technology minaturized and being created to hook up to smartphones, and im seeing the kind of benefit this will cause in the world, in the future especialy once these things come to market/commercialized aswell as im sure they already having an impact in third world countries. One phone with medical sensor/accessories could be used to help a whole village of people, the internet aswell is starting to come to all corners with all the things that the major tech companies are working like google to bring cheap affordable internet everywhere.
It kinda sucks how long it can take from something thats proven to work and has a working prototype, till the time it goes fully public and can be put to use, undoubtable this amount of time will keep getting less and less.
Just as with the flat folding paper microscope these devices are extensions & accessories for smartphones. These accessories enable smartphones to be The front end interface for the world around us. I would argue that the smartphone has realized Gene Roddenberry's Tricorder. Not exactly as used the original Star Trek but close enough.
This is really interesting. This could really revolutionize optometry. It doesn't look like the light that helps the optometrist see the retina would be bothersome to the patient at all. I know when I go in to get my eyes checked, that is the hardest part because I feel like I am going blind with so much light in my eyes. This could really help people like me who have a hard time with bright lights.
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