catra 25423

Catra can diagnose cataracts on your smartphone.

Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab have created a smartphone attachment called Catra that can diagnose cataracts in a matter of minutes. The screening tool is currently being tested on subjects.

Catra clips on to devices such as phones and iPods, and scans the lens of the eye to create a map of the position, size, shape and density of cataracts. “I like to think of this as a radar for the human eye,” says Ramesh Raskar, director of the MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture group…

The device is capable of picking up changes in parts of the lens that have not yet become opaque, and thus able to detect cataracts at an earlier stage than standard tests.

Media Lab researchers hope Catra’s portability will allow physicians and self-testers better diagnose cataracts, especially in developing nations. Ultimately, Catra’s purpose is to decrease the cases of preventable blindness.

MIT’s Media Lab is working on a series of projects around eye care. It developed and released Netra, an application and smartphone attachment for eye exams via mobile phone, last year.