The Nokia N8 helps inspire the Eye-Phone, performs eye exams in Kenya

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We've seen Nokia smartphones tethered to various lenses in the past, but in this case an N8 has been coupled with a opthalmoscope to produce a prototype 'Eye-Phone' that can help diagnose sight problems early in areas of the world where it's tricky to site traditional, bulky and expensive eye exam equipment. Link and article extract below.

Here's an extract from the piece at CosmoOnline and also published in the Metro newspaper:

Performing such a study can be a logistical nightmare, it is also extremely time consuming and expensive. My study involves the retracing and examination of 5,000 people across a district in Kenya known as Nakuru. Taking what is effectively a fully staffed eye hospital (team of 15 people), fully equipped (over £100,000 worth of heavy and fragile equipment) to remote villages, many of which have no road access or electricity supply is extremely challenging yet absolutely vital if provision to prevent needless blindness is to be put in place. 

As I’ve pondered and planned for the challenges that lay ahead, I’ve had the continual thought that there must be an easier way to gather this information, a way that is less expensive, less resource hungry and therefore could be used on a much wider scale.

Then it dawned on me… I use my smartphone for everything nowadays, from checking train times, navigating in the car, taking and sharing photos, not to mention using it as a phone and speaking to people. 

This has led me to develop a set of gadgets and applications making it possible to use a modified smartphone (I call it the “Eye Phone”) to measure someone’s vision, check their refractive error (glasses prescription), take photos of the back of the eye for diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macula degeneration and glaucoma and check for the presence of a cataract.



Not that the phone pictured looks like an N8 - perhaps field Eye-Phones will have Android hardware instead? Great to see Nokia camera phones being used to help inspire some lateral thinking though.

(Thanks to Charles Oldham for the original link)

Source / Credit: CosmoOnline