Detecting eye diseases using smartphone technology

July 6, 2015, Investigación y Desarrollo
Diabetic macular edema

Researchers at the Medical and Surgical Center for Retina have developed software that detects eye diseases such as diabetic macular edema using a smartphone. The system is aimed at general physicians who could detect the condition and refer the patient to a specialist.

The software was developed in collaboration with from the ITESM and uses the camera of the phone to detect any abnormality in the thickness of the . "The idea is to detect and prevent diseases in general practice. We are not replacing the specialist, we want to know which patients have a disease and make an ," says Dr. Juan Carlos Altamirano Vallejo, medical director of the Medical and Surgical Center for Retina.

He adds that the technology is designed for general physicians, "who support the health system in Mexico and, even without in-depth knowledge of ophthalmology, can, with this tool, detect certain abnormalities and send the patient to the specialist."

Using the software will reduce costs and potentially streamline the Mexican health system. Results from the app are immediate. "We start off with the fact that it is much cheaper to prevent than to cure blindness."

The app also has utility in rural communities, where expertise in areas such as ophthalmology are scarce due to the costs of equipment to detect these diseases. Currently, only visiting specialists can do this kind of diagnosis.

"It will help those who are already blind when they see the doctor. And we needed to go a step back, to know who is at risk and needs to go to a specialist. Not wait for a doctor," says Altamirano Vallejo.

Software development has been satisfactory and is expected to soon be marketed and incorporated the basic .

Altamirano Vallejo comments that the Medical and Surgical Center for Retina is a small company with just ten employees dedicated to ophthalmology and retina special medical care. It is also dedicated to biomedical and pharmaceutical research, to develop diagnostics and equipment applicable to society. "We want to give back to our community everything it gives to us, trying to pay the mortgage we all have with Mexico."

Explore further: New nanotechnology drug to control blindness

Related Stories

New nanotechnology drug to control blindness

June 25, 2015
The Mexican company "Medical and Surgical Center for Retina" has created a way to deliver drugs in order to avoid risks and painful treatments in people with secondary blindness due to chronic degenerative blindness such ...

Retina's cancer-like metabolism could lead to new treatments

December 5, 2014
Eye surgeons at the University of Adelaide have discovered that the retina in human eyes uses energy in a very similar way to cancer, which could lead to improved understanding of cancers as well as eye disease such as macular ...

New '2-in-1' test simplifies retina evaluations

February 2, 2015
New research published in the February 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal details a test developed using mice that can help measure two important aspects of retinal health—the function of retinal blood vessels and light-detecting ...

Diabetes macular edema, a underestimated visual problem

May 13, 2014
In Mexico, at least 14 million people have developed macular edema due to diabetes (DME), which like retinopathy affects central vision and can lead to blindness if not treated early .

Vitreomacular adhesion patients report improved vision with non-surgical treatment

June 17, 2015
In two ancillary studies of two multi-center international clinical trials led by the University of Southern California (USC) Eye Institute, the injectable drug ocriplasmin appears to improve vision among patients suffering ...

Recommended for you

Older adults with small social networks less likely to get cataract surgery

March 9, 2018
Close family relationships and a strong social network may help older adults see the world better—literally.

A retinal implant that is more effective against blindness

March 9, 2018
EPFL researchers have developed a new type of retinal implant for people who have become blind due to the loss of photoreceptor cells in their retinas. The implant partially restores their visual field and can significantly ...

New imaging technique could improve the diagnosis, treatment of glaucoma

March 7, 2018
The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, projects the number of Americans affected by glaucoma will more than double between 2010 and 2050, from 2.7 million to 6.3 million.

New gene therapy corrects a form of inherited macular degeneration in canine model

March 5, 2018
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a gene therapy that successfully treats a form of macular degeneration in a canine model. The work sets the stage for translating the findings into a human therapy ...

New insights into how the retina processes orientation

February 26, 2018
In a study published in Nature Communications, Northwestern Medicine scientists detail the discovery of two types of cells in the retina that determine horizontal or vertical orientation, and demonstrated for the first time ...

Glaucoma study finds brain fights to preserve vision

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers, led by David Calkins, Ph.D., vice chair and director of Research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, has made a breakthrough discovery in the field of glaucoma showing new hopes for treatments to preserve ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.