EyeXam is a vision screening app for iOS and Android devices that has recently been issued a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to representatives from EyeXam, this makes it the first and only patented method for accurate self-guided mobile vision screening tests.
“We are excited to receive our patent for EyeXam and believe patent protection is timed perfectly in light of the explosion in mHealth apps. The ‘medicalized smartphone’ is impacting every aspect of health care, and eye care cannot lag behind,” says Dr. Nikki Iravani, founder and CEO of EyeXam.
The tests including visual acuity, colour vision, astigmatism and amsler grid have proved popular with consumers with the app downloaded more than 1 million times from the iTunes App store and Google Play to date. The app also allows patients to find a qualified eye care provider in their local area, exchange messages with the practice, schedule appointments, and search for eye-related information and articles using EyeWiki.
EyeXam asserts that the primary purpose of the app is to enable consumers to learn about their vision, understand the importance of professional eye examinations and connect with eye care providers.
The app is currently free to download on iTunes and Google Play.
By: Dr Joanne Teong
Source and image: www.eyexam.com
Be My Eyes is a new app for iOS devices that allows sighted volunteers to help blind people complete everyday tasks.
The app uses live video chat to enable a blind person to ask a sighted volunteer for help with simple tasks such as reading the expiration date of a milk carton, to more complex tasks such as navigating new surroundings. Through the iphone or ipad’s video camera, the sighted volunteer is able to describe what they see to help the blind person solve the problem or complete the task.
The app is an easy and flexible way to make a difference in the everyday lives of blind people. The app sends push notifications to sighted volunteers when a blind person is requesting assistance. If the volunteer is unavailable, another volunteer will be notified.
The app was developed by a Copenhagen based company and is currently free to download on the App Store.
By: Dr Joanne Teong
In the future, your next eye exam may just happen right from a smartphone. We have previously mentioned the Portable Eye Examination Kit, or ‘Peek’; a device that could make that future a reality. The team previously worked on a suite of apps to help with examining the eye with a mobile phone and recently have turned their attention at improving the equipment used to do so. The device is a clip-on camera adapter for your phone that allows it to become a low cost ophthalmoscope and retinal camera.
‘Four out of five people who are blind, don’t need to be blind,’ states Dr Bastawrous, while explaining that many people in remote locations lack basic access to eye care that would help preserve their vision.
The group working on the project are working with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to use the device in the field and helping remote communities.
To help make the project a reality, the team have turned to crowd-sourcing to help fund the industrial design and manufacture of the device. For £60 you can choose to buy a Peek for yourself or to give one to a charitable project. Either way, you can help make the future of eye care a reality.
Crowdsourcing campaign: http://www.supportpeek.com
TED Talk: http://youtu.be/xPTmHKlH7s4
Google I/O came and went last week and one of the expected announcement came labelled “Google Fit”. This story may sound similar to our previous post outlining Apple’s Health Kit, to which comparisons will undoubtedly be made.
Google Fit will provide a an integrated platform on the Android OS for it to communicate with a variety of mHealth tracking devices. Unlike Apple, Google has not revealed a central “app” that collates all the data. Rather, it is trying to make a standard platform that would allow devices from different manufacturers to “play nice” with their apps.
Thus far, a whole host of companies have signed on to the initiative, such as Nike, Addidas and the ever popular RunKeeper.
Regardless of the approach, it is encouraging to see the world’s two biggest smartphone platforms integrating health tracking features as a key part of their OS.