iexaminer iPhone eye examiner gets medical approval

Smartphone users can become a do-it-yourself optician, thanks to a newly approved eye examination device that clips onto an iPhone.

Smartphone users can become a do-it-yourself optician, thanks to a newly approved eye examination device that clips onto an iPhone.

 
The aptly titled iExaminer, developed by medical diagnostic firm Welch Allyn, received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making it safe to use to inspect the fundus and retinal nerve of a human eye.
 
Users simple slot their iPhone 4 or 4S (no word of iPhone 5 yet) into the Welch Allyn PanOptic Ophthalmoscope and the smartphone's screen can then display the part of an undilated pupil up to five times larger than a traditional instrument used by opticians. Retinal details are also 26 percent more magnified, allowing easier inspection. The system works with all Welch Allyn 3.5 volt power source handles, making it complete mobile.
 
iexaminer iPhone eye examiner gets medical approval
 
The tool could become part of any eye doctor's arsenal and could signal a shift from more old-fashioned devices to new connected ones that can then upload data immediately to hospitals or research centres.
 
“This is the first affordable device to give almost anyone, anywhere the ability to capture a picture of the back of the eye,” said Dr. Wyche Coleman, inventor of the iExaminer. “I was able to take this very lightweight, portable, inexpensive iExaminer to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in sub-Saharan Africa and take a picture of a patient’s fundus. From the top of the mountain, I then transmitted it to a doctor at Johns Hopkins University in the United States where he was able to analyze the image.”
 
The iExaminer goes on sale from 11 February. Pricing has yet to be revealed.