Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have developed two adapters that give the iPhone camera the ability to take high resolution images of the front and back of a person’s eye.
The simple tool could make life easier for a number of healthcare providers, making it possible for them to not only take a detailed picture of the eye but also share it securely with other providers and attach it to a patient’s electronic health record. Without the adapters, healthcare providers have to rely on describing a patient’s condition with words alone should one present with an eye ailment, such as blood in the eye.
“Smartphones today not only have the camera resolution to supplement those words with a high-resolution photo, but also the data-transfer capability to upload that photo securely to the medical record in a matter of seconds,” David Myung, MD, PhD, lead author of two upcoming papers about the devices, said in a statement.
The adapter can also be used by patients in remote locations to share images with health practitioners when undergoing a telemedicine consultation. Myung said he shot hundreds of photos with various iterations of the adapters until he found the perfect working distance and lighting conditions that produced the desired result. It was particularly difficult to focus the light through the pupil to reach the inside of the eye in order to visualize the eye’s inside lining and the retina. Currently, the team is working on obtaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Until then, the adapters are only available for research purposes. In the meantime, the team is also working on reducing the cost of the adapters, which is currently $90.