Their process used an iPhone app called Filmic pro and a few other instruments. Researchers were able to create high-quality fundus images. This method could create a more portable and inexpensive option in eye treatment.
Fundus photography is crucial to eye care. It is used routinely to document eye condition in consultation and operation. However, commercial fundus cameras are very costly. This limits smaller practices and doctors in third world countries.
The researchers simplified this process with the iPhone camera. Previous attempts were limited by the built-in focus and exposure of smartphones. But the Massachusetts researchers used an iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 in tandem with the Filmic pro app and a 20D lens. The optional use of a Koeppe lens showed additional quality.
Using this process, researchers took high-quality fundus images in human and rabbit eyes. The method was useful in examining patients under anesthesia. It was also used in awake patients. The process was applied in both emergency department and in-patient settings.
Patients were also more tolerant of the lower-intensity light used. The method is easier to learn than on standard equipment. Researchers noted that even junior-level students were able to master it quickly.
This means of fundus photography will continue to improve with smartphone technology. Advances in phone camera resolution, image stabilization, and sensors will improve retina images. The potential is great for more ease and affordability in eye care.