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Medicine Biotech Cellphones Software

Poor Vision? There's an App For That 146

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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  • Re:App for that (Score:2, Informative)

    by GraZZ ( 9716 ) <> on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:55PM (#32786584) Homepage Journal

    Oh my yes.

    (Hey mods, go watch the newest Futurama episode. Highly relevant.)

  • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @03:55PM (#32787690)
  • by unkiereamus ( 1061340 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @03:57PM (#32787698)
    It's not even CLOSE to trivial to bring in expensive and bulky equipment to the third world.

    I live and volunteer in Honduras, and when one of the projects I work with needs something, one of the primary constraints is how do we get it here. Any piece of equipment that can do the same job and can be brought in with airline luggage will ALWAYS be preferable to something that have to be shipped.

    A couple of examples: Someone was kind enough to donate 20 complete new computes (monitor, keyboard etc) to one of the schools I work with. They even paid for shipping it down here. This was a year and a half ago, the container they came in is still sitting at the port it came in to, we could never get customs to clear the shipment. (The general assumption is that they were stolen and customs won't clear it so we don't find out.)

    Second example: The medevac service I work with has a Sikorsky S62A, one of very few in the world that still fly. They needed a couple of brackets for the steps, nothing fancy, total cost when new: about 15 bucks, but it's not something you can go down and pick up at the corner store. The owners of the helicopter had a few of them in Australia that they picked up surplus off the USCG when they retired the fleet. So the service paid to have them shipped in, total cost counting shipping and customs: just under 1000USD.

    The point I'm trying to make here is that the third world just doesn't work anything close to they way you think it does. If, for whatever reason I needed to bring in equipment to fit people for lenses, and I had the option of a donated piece of professional equipment vs a iPhone that I had to raise money for, I'd pick the iPhone every time.
  • by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @01:10PM (#32792414)
    No need for the donated used glasses...

    There's at least two sides to that:
    (1) the glasses mentioned in your link have limited application where the wearer has comparatively complex issues such as astigmatism, and
    (2) many glasses donation programs have been shut down. I recently attempted to offload a few pairs of old-prescription glasses here in Western Australia, only to be informed that such programs were now regarded as counter-productive at best. As a result, they ended up in the bin. I can actually understand the reasoning behind this, but it is a bit disappointing to have to thus discard something that had obvious value.

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