Researchers led by Dr Iain Livingstone, of Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research and University of St Andrews' Dr Mario Giardini have developed a new app that can turn a smartphone into a highly portable and low cost eye scanner to diagnose eye health issues in remote areas.
Currently, scanning for poor eye health requires equipment costing over Ģ100,000 and around 15 trained staff to use.
The app, called as Peek, on the other hand requires no staff, even an eye doctor, and can be used by anyone to capture the images and send it to consultants based around the world through e-mail or text message and the diagnostic results can be returned back to the patient with a touch of a button.
The app is currently being tested on around 5000 patients in Kenya and the results will then be compared with those achieved using the best hospital equipment. "Some of the phone cameras are so advanced that it's not like using an ophthalmoscope where the optician is right up in your face. The phone camera has an auto focus to find the detail for you. It certainly will help expedite eye care in the developing world", Dr Livingstone said.