Today I learned that the “fundus” is the rounded back of the eyeball, opposite the pupil. And I learned that the thing that a doctor uses to peer into your eyeball is called a “funduscope.” It turns out that this is an important diagnostic tool. According to the World Health Organization, about 300 million people worldwide suffer from some level of vision loss; 80 percent of the cases could have been prevented or cured with early treatment. Taking a look at the back of the eyeball can help diagnose a wide range of diseases, from macular degeneration to diabetes, hemorrhages, and glaucoma.
Learning to use a fundascope can be tricky, and the instrument may not be readily available in emergency situations or in remote areas. the D-EYE is a camera attachment for smartphones that makes it easier to view a patient’s retina, with the added advantage that the smartphone can also capture the image and transmit it wirelessly to share it with other healthcare professionals. It can view up to 6 degrees in an eye that has not been dilated, and it’s easy to pan around to view adjacent areas.
In a recent study at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, medical residents were able to get a successful image on their first attempt to use the D-EYE device. Furthermore, they preferred using their phones compared with the traditional funduscope. The device has FDA clearance and supports both iOS and Android smartphone models.