Raspberry P-Eye! No Dilating Necessary With This Pocket-Sized Retina Camera

Eye exams aren’t too bad, except for those damn pupil-dilating drops. But those may soon be a thing of the past thanks to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School. That’s because the group has developed a camera that can photograph the retina without the need for dilation.

(📷 UIC College of Medicine / Bailey Shen)

The device works by using infrared light, which an eye does not react to, to focus. It then uses a quick flash of visible light to capture the needed image. These photos can show the retina and its blood supply, as well as the portion of the optic nerve that leads into the retina. It can also reveal health issues, including diabetes, glaucoma and elevated pressure around the brain.

The camera prototype — based on a Raspberry Pi 2 — is small enough to be carried in a pocket, and can be used in situations were pupil dilation is impractical or impossible due to other medical factors.

(📷 UIC College of Medicine / Bailey Shen)

For more details, you can read the entire Journal of Ophthalmology paper, as well as check out Raspberry Pi team’s recent write-up here.

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