CHENNAI:Soon, if you go to an eye doctor with blurry vision, he may well point his iPhone at your eye and take a quick video. Surprised? It’s quite simple, really. Instead of peering into your eye to see if your eye lens is dislocated, city-based eye specialist Dr Amar Agarwal uses a smartphone app to get amazingly ‘slow’ results.
The surgeon uses the popular iOS app Slo-Mo (or TruSloMo) to capture images of the patient’s eye that can be frozen and viewed easily.
“Only when the shift is obvious can we see it by looking through a magnifier. Otherwise, we take a normal video of a patient moving his/her eyes from one side to another and pause it frame by frame to see which way the lens has shifted,” said the chief surgeon at Dr Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals.
The eye lens can get dislocated due to a congenital issue or after an injury that causes trauma to the side of the head. It can cause blurred vision, progressively leading to blindness.
The problem with using a normal camera is that the images are shot at 25 frames per second (fps) and the frozen frame is often blurry and pixellated.
“These apps are amazing because they shoot at 250 fps and when the frames are looked at one by one, they’re almost in HD quality. We can see exactly how the lens has shifted and repair it with minimal surgery,” he said.
Apps that offer super-slow motion frames with smartphone cameras are available on Android and iOS.
Having worked on it for over six months and with a hundred patients, Dr Agarwal submitted the findings in a scientific paper to the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, which has been accepted.
“Once it is published, this technique can be easily used anywhere across the world. Nobody has thought of such a simple solution to one of the more complex eye problems that has been affecting people,” he said.