Study has found new way of conducting an eye test. (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Scientists have developed a cheap, portable camera that can photograph the retina without administering the irritating pupil-dilating eye drops. Made out of simple parts mostly available online, the camera’s total cost is about $185, researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago said.
The camera works by first emitting infrared light, which the iris -the muscle that controls the opening of the pupil- does not react to. Most retina cameras use white light, which is why pupil-dilating eye drops are needed. The infrared light is used to focus the camera on the retina, which can take a few seconds. Once focused, a quick flash of white light is delivered as the picture is taken.
“As residents seeing patients in the hospital, there are often times when we are not allowed to dilate patients -neurosurgery patients for example,” said mple,” said Bailey Shen from UIC. The camera is based on the Rasp berry Pi 2 computer, a low cost, single-board computer designed to teach children how to build and programme computers. The board hooks up to a small, cheap infrared camera and a dual infrared and white-light-emitting diode. A handful of other components make up the rest of the camera, researchers said.