Currently these pictures need to be taken by a camera that is attached to a slit lamp. The slit lamp is a very expensive piece of equipment used to look into the anterior of the eye and can cost up to tens of thousands of pounds, is time consuming, inconvenient and can only be used by trained medics. The new adaptors will mean that taking the images will be much much easier, will be more accessible and will be able to be used by anybody, not just trained professionals. Due to the ease of use and the accessibility the hope is that it will increase access to eye care for those that do not have ophthalmologists near by, for example people who live in developing countries in rural areas. The adaptors will attach to the phone, and a high quality image can be taken, this image can then be uploaded straight to an ophthalmologist who would be able to give a remote diagnosis and treatment advice. Currently to get advice about an eye condition the would just have to use words to describe the symptoms, but a detailed photograph will make the diagnosis and treatment much more accurate, after all “a picture is worth a thousand words”!
The adaptors are currently being tested and evaluated, and will hopefully be available for purchase in the near future. A team from the University of Melbourne in Australia have already used the two adapters on a medical mission trip to Ethiopia and have stated that they were excited about the results.