Thursday, September 9, 2010

MIT introduces NETRA: eye exam on a phone

MIT News reports on a new Media Lab technology that could revolutionize the way eye tests are done in the developing world.

from the news site:
Now, a team at MIT's Media Lab has come up with a much quicker, simpler and cheaper way to get the same information — a method that is especially suitable for remote, developing-world locations that lack these expensive systems. Two billion people have refractive errors, and according to the World Health Organization, uncorrected refractive errors are the world's second-highest cause of blindness, affecting some 2 percent of the world's population; all these people are potential beneficiaries of the new system. The team is preparing to conduct clinical trials, but preliminary testing with about 20 people, and objective tests using camera lenses, have shown that it can achieve results comparable to the standard aberrometer test.

I think is representative of what is really going to make mobile health tick: mobile medical peripherals. We've seen this concept work before: mobile glucometers, stethoscopes, and telemedical setups like ClickDisgnostics.

MIT News:
The team will be field-testing the device in the Boston area this summer and will later test it in developing countries. The team already has applied for a patent on the system, named NETRA (Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment), and team members won a prize this year in MIT’s annual IDEAS competition — a contest for inventions and business ideas that have a potential to make a significant impact in the developing world — and were finalists in the 2010 student-run MIT $100K Business Plan Competition.

No comments: