Smartphone App for Eye Exams by MIT

Researchers at MIT Media Labs have developed an application called NETRA — Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment — for  eye exams. The App produces results comparable to standard tests performed by optometrists.

The patient looks into a lens and uses arrow keys on the phone to make sets of green and red parallel lines overlap. The phone then changes the angle of the lines, asking the user to the same test again. After performing the task eight times with each eye, a process that takes about two minutes, the application processes the results and spits out prescription data.

NETRA is designed for doctors in developing countries that may not otherwise have access to expensive ophthalmological equipment for eye exams.

The researchers will show off the application and hardware combination at SIGGRAGH 2010 later this month. Then, after testing, NETRA will launch under the umbrella of PerfectSight, a for-profit startup that will “market and produce the device for Asian and African markets.”

The application will run on multiple smartphones. Existing prototypes are being tested on the Samsung Behold II and Google Nexus One.

Amazing how such a complex prescription process is being narrowed down to such a simple phenomenon –  a smartphone + plastic lens + NETRA app = 2min comfortable prescription check for optometrists everywhere!

I hope the researchers soon would come up with more medical monitoring apps on phones for docs!

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One Response to Smartphone App for Eye Exams by MIT

  1. James Brookhart says:

    I am doing eye exams with an auto refractor at clinics in Haiti. I go down once a year for 2 weeks. I would go down more if their was room for my team. Since the earthquake builders take prefrance.

    I need this eye tester for Haiti. I can not work in remote villages because I can’t carry everything I need into these places.

    Please, let me know when I can get one to use. Either to buy or to use on a trip to Haiti.

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