Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have developed a mobile application to check visual disorders. The application, called the Portable Eye Examination Kit, was tested on 233 people in Kenya. In order to understand the accuracy of results, the participants were checked by both the application and eye clinics. The results showed that the application can expose visual disturbances as accurately as treatments in eye clinics.
The Portable Eye Examination Kit is able to check for cataracts by scanning the eye with the camera on smart phones. For diagnosing disorders such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism, the application uses shrinking letters. Moreover, the kit can also control behind the eyes using the camera flash in order to reveal possible optic nerve disorders. The developer of the application, Dr. Andrew Bastawrous, said that there are millions of people unable to take visual tests because of financial difficulties, and these people will benefit from the application. The research, expected to assist millions of people in underdeveloped countries to have vision tests easily, was published in the magazine JAMA Ophthalmology.More than 285 million people worldwide suffer from visual disorders such farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and cataracts.