As I was trying to arrange my work area yesterday I’ve stumbled across an old copy of the Metro newspaper from last week (for my readers who are not from the UK, metro is a free newspaper available at train and tube stations). Whenever I find an old copy of something I just have to flick through it again- not really sure why but it is just a habit. It is a good job I did because I totally forgot to write about this article I read.
I personally found this quite an interesting read simply because I think it can revolutionise the way we can help undeveloped countries to battle blindness. A very clever ophthalmologist has developed an app where it can take pictures of the retina, measure someone’s vision and check for eye disease.
Some people may feel this is just another gadget for the smart phones but can you really call it just a gadget when it can genuinely help someone? I am not saying by any means that the smart phone is the best thing that has ever been created but when something as clever as this can be done surely it deserves a round of applause.
This clever little app can detect diseases such as diabetic, retinopathy, macula degeneration and glaucoma and check for the presence of cataracts. For us in the “developed world” all we need to do is pop into our local opticians and everything can be checked out but what happens when you are in somewhere like Kenya where the resources are limited?
This portable technology will allow any optometrist to travel anywhere and do a quick simple eye test in places like Kenya where cataracts is the main causes of blindness. If they are unsure they can even take a photo and email it straight away to another professional for a second opinion in order to make a more accurate diagnosis.
I am sure I am not the only person who moans about technology sometimes but when something this clever and helpful has been developed you have just got to love it! I am not saying this will takeover the ordinary machines or that it is just as good but all I know is, it will be a great way to help people who are less fortunate than us. It is a more cost effective solution because there is no need to ship the big heavy machinery around.
However, please don’t go crazy now and try to download the app or something and try to diagnose yourself because I am sure it still need the professional eyes to see what is wrong.