NETRA: Diagnosing Vision Disorders With a $2 Attachment to a Mobile Phone

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on May 10, 2011
NETRA: Diagnosing Vision Disorders With a $2 Attachment to a Mobile Phone data sheet 3466 Views

Having poor vision can affect nearly every aspect of life, and although it’s easy for those with nearsightedness or farsightedness to know something is wrong, getting a correct diagnosis and prescription for corrective eyewear can be difficult in rural areas. A new device called NETRA could change all that with a cheap, small clip-on tool for mobile phones. Developed by the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab, NETRA works by having users look through a camera lens and align images on a display screen until the images come into focus.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project goal was to create a cheap, portable way to diagnose vision disorders such as refractive errors and cataracts.

Brief description of the project: 

Users look through the clip-on lens at a very close range and align the patterns displayed on a mobile phone screen. The number of manipulations needed to align the images reveals the level of refractive error in the user's eye.

Target audience: 

Rural residents who need to diagnose vision problems

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

The project allows users to get accurate prescriptions for vision problems in a cheap and accessible way through the use of a clip-on camera lens and manipulable light displays.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Challenges include: the reliability on user diagnosis. Because the system does not require a trained optometrist to deliver the test, the chance for user error is higher than with traditional eye tests.

Winners of Vodafone Awards Showcase mHealth Innovations

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 14, 2011

On Monday, Vodafone and the mHeatlh Alliance announced the winners of the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project and the mHealth Alliance Award. Although all three winning projects focus on health applications of mobile technology, each project has an entirely different focus: in first place, NETRA uses a clip-on device for mobile phones to quickly diagnose eye disorders; in second place, SMART Diaphragm monitors high-risk pregnancies by wirelessly transmitting information to physicians; and in third place is Cool Comply, a system designed for community health workers to keep medications cool and to allow them to stay in contact with patients.