Eye-Catching Adapter Makes Smartphone Ophthalmic Screener




This is Scientific American's 60-Second Tech. I'm Larry Greenemeier. Got a minute?
Smartphone cameras have turned the selfie into an art form.
And soon your selfie may be able to warn your doctor about a serious problem with your eyes, without a trip to the ophthalmologist.
Stanford University School of Medicine researchers are developing inexpensive adapters that let smartphones take high-quality images of the eye.
Not just the lens in front but the retina in back too.
With no need for eye drops that dilate your pupils for hours.
The research team is studying the quality of images taken using the adapters and their ability to track eye disease in patients with diabetes.
This work was published online in the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine.
Right now, prototype adapters cost about $90 to make and are available only to other researchers.
But if the adapters work as promised, patients could snap digital pictures of their eyes and e-mail them to a doctor.
That's a convenience for most of us, but a necessity for people living in remote areas with poor access to any local ophthalmic care.
And it could turn your iPhone into an "eye" phone.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Tech. I'm Larry Greenemeier.