Online apps, communication tools and sophisticated hardware have unlocked potential of telemedicine to provide contactless treatment and high quality care from a distance. The method which gained popularity during the pandemic, is now being developed further with tools to conduct key tests via smartphones and to even track mental health.
Wearable gadgets are also being equipped to monitor oxygen levels as people have become more concerned about their personal wellness and immunity in the new normal. Similar innovation is also promising to transform treatment of conditions that affect eyesight, by converting mobile handsets into high-tech scanners.
Inventors from New Zealand have pulled this off thanks to accessories which are empowering people to conduct eye tests at home, using their mobile phone cameras. They started with the design of a lens which can be downloaded, and later 3D printed to be paired with smartphones, and now have an attachable retinal camera as well as an ophthalmoscope that uses the same method.
The products manufactured by their firm oDoc are backed by 5G connectivity to send images collected via smartphones to doctors, who can then take a call on the appropriate diagnosis. In cases where people may need immediate treatment, the gadgets can prove to be life changing, since they allow medical practitioners to take timely action following early detection.
Currently the devices promise to let eye doctors monitor and treat patients from home, but the innovators are also looking forward to rope in AI to take a call on seriousness of cases early on. This will speed up detection by adding to a smartphone’s enhancement as a medtech tool, and will reduce pressure on practitioners.
Having a set of lenses and cameras that can conduct accurate tests also makes diagnosis cheaper by doing away with high-tech machines used at hospitals.
The firm oDoc’s work has been backed by funds from Dubai’s Expo Live Innovation programme, and the inventors will also be showcasing their vision at Expo 2020 in the city.