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  • Detect Cataracts With Your iPhone or Any Computer Monitor


    MIT researchers have developed a device that uses LCD screens to test for cataracts, the leading cause of blindes in the world.

    The snap-on eyepiece the researchers developed can effectively be attached to any small LCD screen, and "projects time-dependent patterns onto the fovea." Because a cataract eye refracts light before it reaches the retina, they are able to measure and compare a good light path with a bad light path, and even estimate the cataracts size, postion, density and scattering profile using the accompanying software.

    This seems infinitely simpler than the standard cataract test patients receive when they go to an optometrist. You know the drill, dialating eyedrops, keep your eye open as long as possible while the blue light tube thing is stuck as close as possible so it can check density, and then go blind because your forgot your sunglasses and refuse to wear the ridiculously cheap ones the office gives you.

    It seems the attachment, and the software obtains more information than the traditional procedure. A good example of another highly portable, extremely affordable, and intuitive solution to a problem, made possible by advancements in technology. I wonder how optometrists and other eye specialists will feel about the expensive and extensive testing needed to detect cataracts becoming obsolete?

    Source: MIT [via TUAW)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Detect Cataracts With Your iPhone or Any Computer Monitor started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. BennyPR's Avatar
      BennyPR -
      Why you said iPhone when in the video they show an Samsung phone
    1. lonegungirl's Avatar
      lonegungirl -
      Actually, although different offices certainly might use different equipment, the "blue light tube thing" is likely checking the pressure in your eyes as a screening tool for glaucoma. The "expensive and extensive" tool most useful for eye professionals to look at cataracts is...their own eye.
    1. dabisnit's Avatar
      dabisnit -
      I thought they pointed that lightin my eyes for fun. Thats what it seems to me from my eye doctor
    1. JacketPod's Avatar
      JacketPod -
      nice
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by lonegungirl View Post
      Actually, although different offices certainly might use different equipment, the "blue light tube thing" is likely checking the pressure in your eyes as a screening tool for glaucoma. The "expensive and extensive" tool most useful for eye professionals to look at cataracts is...their own eye.
      Indeed.
      Because optometrists and ophthalmologists don't routinely screen patients for cataracts (unless they have reason to be suspicious) as cataracts aren't life-threatening or threaten vision in a progressive and irreversible fashion -- like Glaucoma does.

      Cataracts are a problem, to be sure. They are progressive, and by the time they are noticeable, may be quite advanced. The loss of vision can be devastating. They don't cause damage to the eye internals, and catching them early frequently only means that the doctors will have to wait until they "ripen" for further treatment. Delayed detection and treatment means delayed relief of symptoms. Patients are often the first to notice vision problems, that doctors can then associate with cataracts.

      In contrast, the early signs of glaucoma are frequently NOT noticeable to the patient. Delayed treatment can mean that vision loss is irreversible or uncorrectable. Glaucoma can be one of a wide array of hypertensive symptoms that will be fatal if not treated. Its a very serious, very worrisome condition that doctors are well-advised to watch out for, even if they use annoying machines that blow air into your eye.

      I think this sort app is great because its a tool that can be used by doctors NOT familiar with cataracts (as many GPs aren't) to quickly and correctly identify vision problems and guide their patients toward effective treatment. It's great because,
      unlike with glaucoma, buying expensive cumbersome equipment to test for cataracts is (or getting extensive, intensive training on the subject) is probably not on the short-list for most who aren't eye specialists.

      Eye specialists - won't use this app or trust it, or care. Its geared toward your average MD. If it can help, awesome. If it means not being sent to "the lab" for another $5000 test my insurance doesn't cover, double-awesome.
    1. javiert30's Avatar
      javiert30 -
      There are some apps on apple store to diagnose vision problems, I tried some of them already before.
    1. mathieuvp's Avatar
      mathieuvp -
      useless,,
      1 in belgium are these tests free..
      2 you do the test and you have the issue, what's next? go to the doctor and they will do the test again..
    1. IcerMize's Avatar
      IcerMize -
      Mod My Eye
      I would imagine fees for the tests won't change because of this unless the equipment being replaced is leased.
    1. danka58's Avatar
      danka58 -
      Quote Originally Posted by javiert30 View Post
      There are some apps on apple store to diagnose vision problems, I tried some of them already before.
      May I ask which app? and which seems to work best? Danke.
    1. guitarplaya7777's Avatar
      guitarplaya7777 -
      MIT researchers have developed a device that uses LCD screens to test for cataracts, the leading cause of blindes in the world.
      leading cause of what in the world?