Researchers at Stanford University have developed two new smartphone attachments that allow imaging of the eye that would normally done with large, bulky instruments. Ophthalmologists imaging the anterior segment of the eye (cornea, iris, ciliary body, lens) use slit lamp instruments that shine a bright flat beam of light onto the eye in combination with a microscope. There already exist attachments for slit lamps that allow a smartphone to snap on and be used to capture and share images of the eye, but the slit lamp is still a bulky instrument.
The team developed a small iPhone attachment that snaps onto just about any smartphone to visualize the anterior segment. It consists of a small lens and an LED just next to it and is small enough to fit in your pocket. It’s positioned close to the eye, focused, and an image is taken. In a study published in Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine they report that the device “satisfactorily portrays a wide range of pathology of the eyelids, conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and lens without the need for a slitlamp.”
The second device is a 3D printed smartphone clip-on ophthalmoscope for viewing the retina, or fundus imaging as it’s known in the field. It’s basically an adjustable indirect ophthalmoscopy condensing lens that’s held about six inches (15 cm) in front of the phone’s own lens. It can use the phone’s own flash or an external light source for illumination, and the smartphone is used to help adjust focus and to take pictures.
Articles in Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine: Simple, Low-Cost Smartphone Adapter for Rapid, High Quality Ocular Anterior Segment Imaging…; 3D Printed Smartphone Indirect Lens Adapter for Rapid, High Quality Retinal Imaging…