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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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  • So.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:44PM (#32786508)
    This is great for countries that lack opticians with basic equiptment yet somehow have lots of people with large screened smartphones?
  • by DWMorse ( 1816016 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:46PM (#32786528) Homepage

    Nobody said a steady 3G connection was required for this sort of use, or that for every person using the app, they had to own the device.

    Even an iPhone 4 is a ton more mobile than a phoroptor, and a lot less expensive, since phoroptors clock in around $5,000 and take a trained professional to use.

    A sole traveling, untrained, non-optometrist Peace Corps kid with an iPhone 4 and a box of donated used glasses could make a big damn difference.

  • Re:So.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:50PM (#32786548)

    Think Doctors Without Borders able to travel to more remote villages without carting along huge pieces of equipment.

    This could allow even a doctor in a poor country to provide prescription glasses (through mail order) with a much smaller investment (one smartphone, even without service, and the $2 attachment.)

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:56PM (#32786588) Homepage
    Not only is it great for developing countries. It's great for those of us in countries like the USA, Canada, Easter Europe, and many other places. Health care costs are increasing. It's about time we came up with some ways to make health care cheaper. My province spends half of it's revenue on health care. I would love for them to start using ideas like this to make it possible for lower skilled people who demand less money to give medical care in simple cases such as prescribing glasses, so that doctor's have more time for real important stuff and also so that health care costs would go down. With all the advancements in science it seems that health care is just getting more and more expensive. Really, we should be using those advancements to make it cheap and accessible to all.
  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @03:42PM (#32787628) Homepage Journal

    Yea, easier...

    Lets bring heavy, delicate equipment out to a harsh environment that in all likelyhood lacks either repair parts or appropriate tools, and spend a fortune in time and energy moving the fucker around.

  • by Meneguzzi ( 935620 ) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @12:27PM (#32792190) Homepage Journal
    I don't want to be an argument killer, but if you had read the article and saw the names and descriptions of the group members, you'd have seen that the main developers of this project are two Indians and two Brazilians, so my guess is that they have been to a lot more than a single village in the middle of the African jungle (well, maybe not in Africa, but in India and Brazil), and that they do have a, shall we say, decent grip on the resource limitations of the developing world.
    But then again I might be wrong, but last time I checked, India and Brazil were still considered developing world, weren't they?

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