• Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine, March 7 2014
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    Researchers at Stanford University have developed inexpensive attachments that can turn your smartphone into a slit-lamp instrument.  

    While various adaptors have been designed to attach a smartphone to a slit lamp, Drs. Robert Chang and David Myung have created a way for practitioners to image both the anterior and posterior segment using only a smartphone with minimal additional hardware. Dr. Chang said they developed the attachments to be low-cost (current production cost is $90 per unit) and easy for anyone with minimal training to image the eye and share it securely with other health practitioners or store it in a patient’s electronic record.

    “Think Instagram for the eye,” Dr. Chang said of the concept, currently dubbed EyeGo. Two proof-of-concept papers were published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine.

    The adaptor for anterior segment imaging combines a low-cost macrolens, LED external light source, and a universal attachment system for use with all smartphones. The adapter is easily attached and detached from a phone in seconds and is small enough to fit in a pocket when not in use.

    The posterior segment adaptor is a 3D printed attachment enabling high quality fundus photos by coupling smartphones to indirect ophthalmoscopy condensing lenses. They customized the attachment to hold a Volk Panretinal 2.2 lens on one side and an Apple iPhone 5 on the other. Using either the phone’s native flash for lighting or another coaxial light source, it can be operated with one hand. They showed the ability to photodocument a variety of both normal and abnormal retinal findings.

    “Adapting smartphones for the eye has the potential to enhance the delivery of eye care—in particular, to provide it in places where it’s less accessible,” Myung said. “Whether it’s in the emergency department, where patients often have to wait a long time for a specialist, or during a primary-care physician visit, we hope that we can improve the quality of care for our patients, especially in the developing world where ophthalmologists are few and far between.”

    The Stanford School of Medicine and Biodesign Program recently provided Drs. Chang and Myung a grant to fund the production of the initial batch of adapters for research while the team seeks guidance from the Food and Drug Administration.