One of the major causes of blindness, which have been worrying the medical experts, worldover, is the clouding of the lens of the eye, better known as Cataract. In response to the growing number of cataract affected, there hasn’t been much of a relief as far as costs go. And not everyone can afford getting a cataract removed. A few enterprising researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have brought forth what they believe to be an inexpensive way of detecting cataract, especially when it is in its early stages.
Cataract diagnosis in progress..
The device, essentially a slider eyepiece that can be easily attached onto a smartphone, has been developed by Media Lab Camera Culture group director, Ramesh Raskar. Called the CATRA System, the device enables users to peer through the eyepiece. Users can press a button, almost as soon as they start finding their vision getting cloudy. On the press of a button, the device begins scanning the lens of the eye, basically to generate a map of the same.
A prototype of the CATRA System
The CATRA system, as opposed to the slit lamp theory uses the forward scattering technique, using which the patients respond to what they see. The device, in a very systematic manner scans the lens, each section at a time. And, it is during this process, that the user presses the buttons as per the light movements that he can see. It is these feeds from the patient that the device uses to draw up its diagnosis.
In the promo video below, it is visible that the CATRA treatment can, in a matter of minutes; reveal details such as the position, size, shape and density of the clouds, thereby helping the preparation of an accurate diagnosis.