Acting on a challenge from one of their professors to create a mobile app that could provide quick and accurate vision testing in Third World countries, Canadian engineering design students Ashutosh Syal and Daxal Desai spent more than a year researching the problem and writing hundreds of lines of code.
The result is EyeCheck, a smartphone app that through a quick video of a person’s eyes can diagnose nearsightedness, farsightedness or opacity in the eyes, which could be an indication of glaucoma or cancer. Put simply, if the image reveals a crescent at the top of the pupil, the person is nearsighted; if there’s a crescent at the bottom, he or she is farsighted.
Then, EyeCheck's stand-alone camera takes a picture of anyone with vision issues, and the app provides a prescription for eyeglasses that can be easily refined by an optometrist.
During their research, Syal and Desai learned that in many developing countries, vision care is available only in “eye camps,” where people usually have to wait in long lines. But they say their app could reduce the time it takes to do a field eye exam from 20 minutes to two to three.