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Portable equipment for retina diagnosis controlled by smartphone

Abstract

Millions of people lose their sight every year on our planet. According to the Brazilian Ophthalmological Census (CBO 2014), four million people have serious visual impairments, a hundred thousand being children. In addition, 23% of the population has no access to ophthalmologists and about a half of the cases of blindness are associated with retinal diseases. With the prospect of offering a solution that contributes to this strong social demand, we present this project of a hand-held portable fundus camera, which can be coupled and controlled by smartphones, being compact, light and more affordable compared to the current table-top fundus cameras. We are proposing the creation of a new optical architecture for retina illumination and imaging and a new methodology to capture, storage and present the images of the eye in order to facilitate the equipment operation, as well as the diagnosis process and medical report, being consonant with telemedicine demands. Aiming to achieve these goals we will continue the research initiated by our team, which has succeeded in creating a proof of concept for the product we are proposing. We have worked on the basis of an optical architecture to allow the illumination and imaging of the retina without the use of polarizers to control unwanted optical artifacts, illuminating homogeneously the eye fundus, with low optical power, ensuring comfort and safety to patients, and a satisfactory resolution for medical imaging. Our proof of concept has generated a series of future demands and challenges, which we intend to address through the research and development of new computational algorithms to treat and automate some processes involved in medical examinations, by using Computer Vision techniques combined with Embedded Electronics. This will be used to perform the segmentation of the retinal arteries and veins and to recognize the level of homogeneity of the illumination, allowing the construction of retinal panoramic images simultaneously with the operation of the equipment. We also try to go further in the research and development of the optical system, optimizing their performance with the aid of new software and computational resources, as well as the construction of bench tests for optical calibration. In addition, we will integrate our algorithms programming them on mobile devices (iOS and Android platforms), building applications able to control the parameters of the cameras, with graphic UI, generation of medical report, sharing the examinations and the possibility of exporting them to a remote database. The hand-held portability we are proposing will facilitate the use of this technology away from large urban centers, and this solution also appears as the most suitable option when it is necessary to capture retina images from infants, bedridden patients or mentally handicapped. In this condition, the current table-top fundus cameras are used in a poor way. Ophthalmologists with limited investment capabilities or with little physical space in their clinics may have easier access to this kind of equipment, increasing the number of professionals working in the area. This technology tends to greatly increase the habit of these professionals to record images from the retina of their patients, generating benefits for all people involved in visual health. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância  
Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia 
Ciclo ILP-FAPESP discute empreendedorismo, inovação e impacto social 
Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely 
Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely 
Articles published in other media outlets (52 total):
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BOL: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (04/Jun/2019)
Portal Exame: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
AdvisorNews (EUA): Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (08/Jul/2019)
CoolBusinessIdeas.com (EUA): Smartphone Connected Eyer (04/Jul/2019)
Global e Health (Colômbia): Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia (03/Jul/2019)
Science and Technology Research News (EUA): Portable Device Can Be Used to Diagnose Eye Disease Remotely (03/Jul/2019)
Diario San Rafael (Argentina): Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia (02/Jul/2019)
Green Area (Líbano): Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia (28/Jun/2019)
Body Electron: Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (28/Jun/2019)
ID - Investigación y Desarrollo (México) online: Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia (27/Jun/2019)
Moneyrf.com: Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (27/Jun/2019)
NCYT Amazings (Espanha): Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia (26/Jun/2019)
New Atlas (Austrália): Smartphone-connected Eyer examines retinas and accesses the cloud (26/Jun/2019)
El Grafico del Sur (República Dominicana): Un aparato portátil permite diagnosticar enfermedades oculares a distancia (26/Jun/2019)
Medical Product Outsourcing (EUA): Smartphone Attachment Can Remotely Diagnose Eye Disease (26/Jun/2019)
Medica Magazine Overview (Alemanha): Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (26/Jun/2019)
Green Health Live: Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (26/Jun/2019)
Bioengineer (Reino Unido): Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (25/Jun/2019)
The online Technology: Portable device can be used to diagnose eye disease remotely (25/Jun/2019)
Engenharia é: Dispositivo pode diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (18/Jun/2019)
Portal do Governo do Estado de São Paulo: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (06/Jun/2019)
Revista Amazônia: Aparelho portátil ligado a smartphone permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (06/Jun/2019)
Portal Bragança: Ciência e Tecnologia: Aparelho portátil ligado a um smartphone permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (06/Jun/2019)
Notícias de Campinas: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (06/Jun/2019)
GovBrasil: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (06/Jun/2019)
Panorama Farmacêutico: Eyer: aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares (05/Jun/2019)
2A+ Farma: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (04/Jun/2019)
Negócios Disruptivos: Empresa cria aparelho portátil que permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (04/Jun/2019)
Jornal Joseense News: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (03/Jun/2019)
Espaço Ecológico no Ar: Novo aparelho para celular diagnostica doenças nos olhos a custo baixo (02/Jun/2019)
Universo Racionalista: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (02/Jun/2019)
Cadeia Logística do Frio: Doença dos olhos (02/Jun/2019)
Sinuhe Silva Vieira: Doença dos olhos (02/Jun/2019)
Blog Marquesi - Newsletter: Doença dos olhos (02/Jun/2019)
Plantão News (MT): Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (01/Jun/2019)
Esteta : Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (01/Jun/2019)
Galileu online: Novo aparelho para celular diagnostica doenças nos olhos a custo baixo (01/Jun/2019)
Tá Sabendo?: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (01/Jun/2019)
Algomais online: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (01/Jun/2019)
Digital Rádio e TV: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (01/Jun/2019)
MSN: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
Espaço Ecológico no Ar: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
Meio & Negócio: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
Seropédica Online: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
Press From Brasil (EUA): Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
Jornal Notícias: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (31/May/2019)
Telelaudo: Doenças nos olhos podem ser identificadas por aparelho celular (11/Jun/2019)
Notícias de Hortolândia: Aparelho portátil permite diagnosticar doenças oculares a distância (06/Jun/2019)