More than 7 million people in the United States are affected by diabetic retinopathy.
Currently, patients must rely on a traditional eye exam performed by an eye specialist using an ophthalmoscope. Researchers at the University of California - Berkeley have created a smartphone-based device that examines the retina and can be used by primary care physicians to detect early stages of retinopathy.
The smartphone-based device is basically a handheld ophthalmoscope that combines the imaging abilities of a smartphone with software that examines the retina. The convenience of the smartphone allows physicians to utilize the software and screen their diabetic patients for retinal abnormalities. If a problem is detected, the doctor can then refer their patient to an ophthalmologist.
The device, known as the RetinaScope, has gone through studies to determine its practicality and reliability and initial results have shown that is a dependable screening tool for retinal diseases. The RetinaScope will help diabetic patients get an earlier diagnosis of retinal problems by allowing their primary doctor to conduct the necessary screening.*