'Blink' App Enables Eye Exams at Home via Smartphone

'Blink' App Enables Eye Exams at Home via Smartphone
A start-up has launched the world's first smartphone-assisted eye tools that can check your eyes in the comfort of your home and nullify the bulky machines visible in an ophthalmologist's office.

The eye exam tools are part of the app called 'Blink'. It is administered by a technician who uses a trio of handheld devices that take the place of the autorefractor, lensmeter and phoropter equipment, MIT Technology Review reported.

"The Blink screening process takes about 20 minutes," said David Schafran, co-founder and chief product officer for Blink.

If the app determines you need an eyeglass prescription, the technician will send results of the screening to an optometrist, who will send you a prescription within 24 hours.

The home visit for eye tests will cost $75 (Rs. 4,700).

The Blink's first eye exam tool includes a black device that looks like a View-Master with a smartphone bolted to it.

It replaces an autorefractor for measuring your level of focusing error.

The device uses a Blink app shown on the smartphone's display to shine red and green beams of light at your eyes.

You line up these beams with a dial and the app figures out your refractive error by measuring the difference between where the beams are on the screen and how much you adjust them.

Another device uses smartphone to do the job of a lensmeter which measures the prescription strength of your existing glasses.

To do this, a smartphone running the Blink app is placed in the device, eyeglasses are slid between the phone and the device and a picture is taken of a pattern beneath the eyeglass lens with the phone's camera.

A third device stands in for a phoropter which helps determine the specific strength of the lens prescription you need by letting you try different lenses and settings while looking at an eye chart.

The tools are developed by EyeNetra, a startup that has been working for several years on smartphone-connected eye-exam tools.

The Blink tools join a growing number of smartphone-connected diagnostic gadgets that companies hope will make it simpler and cheaper for anyone to diagnose health problems.

This could reduce health-care costs and make it easier for people to get medical help even if they do not live near a doctor's office, the report added.

For now, Blink is offering eye exams for eyeglasses prescriptions in New York City.


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Further reading: Apps, Blink app
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