Mobile Vision Tests Powered By A Phone
A new eye examination technology could help millions around the world with uncorrected sight
It is estimated that uncorrected vision affects more than 1 billion people globally. This is a result of two issues: lack of access to eye-care professionals and high cost. Smart Vision Labs is hoping to transform the vision care industry with innovative technologies that solve both accessibility and financial barriers. The company has leveraged a telemedicine platform for eye doctors and a self-guided vision testing kiosk to provide access to eyeglass prescriptions anywhere, anytime.
Smart Vision Labs has created a mobile autorefraction device that allows individuals to use a smartphone to capture images of the eye and measure how light passes through the lens to determine a prescription. Traditional autorefraction instruments can weigh upward of 50 pounds, cost $50,000 and are tied to a desktop. Smart Vision Labs’ co-founder and CEO Yaopeng Zhou explains further saying that “by leveraging the smartphone we’re able to lower the cost significantly and fit everything into a palm-sized device.”
The free-standing system looks like an iPhone with an eye-piece add-on and has an adjustable stand making it versatile and easily transportable.
“By asking patients a series of health questions we are able to identify if the patient needs to be referred out to see a doctor for a full comprehensive eye health exam.”
The exam also includes the patient walking through a visual acuity test (an eye chart) before using the autorefraction device. The data from the two tests are “sent for analysis to a network of remote eye doctors who analyze all the data points to determine the correct eyeglasses prescription. The patient is emailed a copy of their prescription within 24 hours,” Zhou said.
The cost of the use of this new technology is approximately $40 compared with a traditional eye exam that can cost anywhere from $50-$250. The Smart Vision Labs’ mobile autorefractor is currently being used by more than 500 doctors across 23 countries. With the help of global optical partners, the company has performed over 40,000 refractions to date.