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)