At-Home Eye-Exam: Smartphone Attachment Turns Camera Into Optometric Testing Kit

A visit to your nearest optometrist could soon be a thing of the past.

A simple snap-on smartphone camera attachment turns your ordinary snapper into a full-fledged optometric testing kit.

A revolutionary new device called the D-EYE could change the lives of millions of people who are either afraid of visiting a eye-doctor or do not have an easy access to an eye-clinic to have their eyes tested. The D-EYE is a complete single-piece kit that clips onto the back of a smartphone. This transforms the back-camera of your smartphone into a complete testing kit that evaluates your eyes, just like your eye-doctor would.

In its current iterations, D-EYE works with the iPhone 5, 5s and 6 and the Samsung S4 and S5. It’s a non-invasive, simple-to-setup testing kit that requires no external power source and of course, has a very miniscule space requirement, which makes it a highly portable eye-testing kit that can be easily taken to remote regions. With an accompanying app, patients can film their own eye-exam and send it across electronically to a specialist.

A Special Bumper Makes The Eye-Exam Kit Compatible With iPhone And Samsung Galaxy Smartphones
A Special Bumper Makes The Eye-Exam Kit Compatible With iPhone And Samsung Galaxy Smartphones

Due to the innovative snap-on, stay-on bumper the eye-lens and retinal imaging system that make up the D-EYE, one can carry an optometrist’s “fundus camera” in a lot less space that would have been taken up by conventional testing systems, say the inventors,

“Conduct routine eye examinations and retinal screenings anywhere for possible detection of a variety of disorders, including the leading causes of blindness – cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.”

Presently, there needs to be a steady data-link. Once it is established, doctors are able to remotely control the device to choose where in the eye to look, as well as set and review patient files. Though this may limit the scope to areas that have better network, the eye-exam is quite comprehensive. Doctors can get a very close look of the retina, optic disc, macula, fovea and posterior pole, making it easier for them to offer their diagnosis remotely.

From a technical perspective, D-EYE uses a combination of beam splitters and levers created using the smartphone’s LED flash, camera lens and auto-focus. The attachment can compensate between -10D myopia (nearsightedness) to +10D hyperopia (farsightedness).

With all the technology and innovation, D-EYE presently costs about $450 dollars. The bumper attachment has to be bought separately for $45. The company plans to offer the app for free, with the option to buy cloud-storage for retaining patient records for anywhere-access.

The need for a ultra-portable eye-testing kit is immense. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of visual impairments suffered worldwide can be prevented or cured through standard eye examinations and care. As such, the D-EYE isn’t the only company vying to make a difference.

[Image Credit | D-EYE]

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