Smartphone to detect early stages of cataract?

Smartphone to detect early stages of cataract?

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Asia Bizz: The problem of cataract can now reportedly be detected at the early stages using an inexpensive device. Some researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been developing a device with the help of a smartphone that will detect cataract at early stages.

Cataract is the clouding of the eye lens, which is becoming one of the major causes of blindness in the world. Ramesh Raskar, the group director of Media Lab Camera Culture along with his colleagues, have designed the Catra system which is made of off-the-shelf components.

The patient has to peep in to the eyepiece that comes out of a device like the iPod Touch and they have to view the lines that are displayed on the screen. In case the lines appear cloudy to the patient, then he has to press a button. This helps the device to scan the lens of the eye to create a map of the cloudy areas, which are produced by the accumulation of the proteins. The device can then identify the shape, size, position of the eye, after which it makes a diagnosis of the cataract within minutes.

The Catra will be a blessing for all those who do not have expensive slit lamps – used by the clinicians – to diagnose the disorder. The new technology could also help in the detection of the dreaded eye disease at an earlier stage.