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Medicine Biotech Cellphones Software

Poor Vision? There's an App For That 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-see-clearly-now dept.
necro81 writes "Researchers at MIT's Media Lab have developed a smartphone app that allows users to measure how poor their vision is (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism) and receive a corrective prescription. The user peers through a $2 optical adapter at the screen of a smartphone. The app displays lighted bars, and prompts the user to adjust the display until the bars line up. Repeating this with bars in different locations and orientations allows the vision distortion to be determined to within about 0.4 diopters using a Nexus One. The iPhone 4, with its higher-resolution display, should be able to improve that to 0.28 diopters. This could have broad application in the developing world, where experienced opticians and diagnostic equipment are hard to come by."
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Poor Vision? There's an App For That

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  • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:50PM (#32786546)

    Great idea for the developed world too.

    I'd like an app like that for Linux so people can test their vision at home, multiple times, and optimize prescriptions for different distances (for example, close work like soldering).

    With the availability of an eye test app, people who know their eye health is good can refine their prescription cheaply (buying online instead of getting ass-raped for the same lens/frame combo locally) and save playing eye test/prescription/purchase roulette.

  • by denzacar (181829) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @03:53PM (#32787680) Journal

    A sole traveling, untrained, non-optometrist Peace Corps kid with a box of donated used glasses could bring a box of glasses.

    You almost had it there. You did (almost) stumble blindly on it (no pun intended), but still...

    1 - Based on the "Developing countries can't be choosers" axiom, it is not really THAT important to people living there if the eyeglasses really fit their prescription 100%.
    Particularly, if the glasses are free.

    2 - Based on 1, there is a much simpler way of testing for the right prescription under those conditions (choosers not too picky, choice rather limited anyway...).
    It consists of the "patient" trying out several sets of glasses until he/she finds the one that works for him/her.
    You know, like you would with a pair of sunglasses.

    And, based on my own day-to-day observation from what you might call a "developing nation" (Bosnia) that model works perfectly well even for the paying customers.
    E.g. people who can't really afford money to visit a private optometrist or they lack time or health insurance for a visit to a government one.
    All of those cases mostly resulting from the case of being employed "off the books".

    Only thing is... There is really no need for donated eyeglasses cause Chinese ones are dirt cheap.
    Like, plastic sunglasses prices. Often sold side by side on the same stand.

    Sure, if you have a rather specific need (different prescription for each eye, or a relatively rare case of visual impairment) you are probably not gonna find what you are looking for "over the counter".
    Then again, chances of finding EXACTLY what you need in a "box of donated used glasses" with or without an eyePhone (Get it? EYE-PHONE!) are far lower than that.

    Oh... and one more thing.
    While there are plenty enough iPhones here (just today I saw one "barely used" 3G 16GB being sold for ~320$) - ALL of them are jailbroken.
    Also, you can forget using the app store directly from it even if you have somehow gotten your hands on an actual "virgin" iPhone.
    Cause even if your iPhone is perfectly legal, with no cracking/jailbreaking attached - your money is no good. [economist.com]
    So, that "non-optometrist Peace Corps kid" should better get all his app-needs before going on his "mission of mercy".
    If any of those apps need to "call home", well... sucks to be him in the "developing world".

    Again, this is one of those inventions that are pitched by people who have either never been outside of a developed "1st world" country, OR who have only ever been to some village in the middle of the African jungle so they base their understanding of every "developing country" on that one experience or on what they see on CNN. Or in the movies.
    Invention is then being pitched as intended for developing countries - where in reality there is no demand or need for it.
    On the other hand, hypochondriacs and "I_am_my_own_wikipedia-diagnostician"-people will probably love it.

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