Smartphones, Health-Care and Disruption

When Smartphones Do a Doctor’s Job

A simple, cheap way to measure eyesight may face resistance.
By Antonio Regalado via

screen grab of EyeNetra appHealth-care spending is out of control. Can technology save us money?

Eye app: A smartphone displays a measurement of the refractive error of a person’s eyes. Vitor Pamplona isn’t a doctor. He’s not even an optician. He can’t write you a prescription for glasses, or sell you a pair. Still, he’s pretty sure he’s going to disrupt the $75 billion global eye-care market

More important, just about anyone could use it. That’s where the disruption comes in—and the trouble. Right now, only doctors or optometrists can prescribe glasses or contact lenses. Pamplona, a brash Brazilian programmer who arrived in the U.S. a few years ago, thinks that won’t always be the case. “We’re changing medicine by providing the user the right to measure themselves,” he says. “We see doctors as more of a coach.” Full Article via MIT

At EyeNetra, the startup he cofounded, goofy curiosities like plastic eyeballs line the shelves, and a 3-D printing machine whirs in the background. It’s printing out prototypes of a device that will attach to your smartphone and, in a minute or two, tell you what kind of eyeglasses you need.

Full Article via MIT

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