Using a relatively cheap smart phone, the Samsung Behold II, and an add on peripheral, researchers at MIT have created a device that can detect cataracts. Why is this a big deal? Because cataracts is often detected during a slit lamp examination — and those of us who have used a slit lamp are painfully aware of how large and cumbersome they are — and definitely not mobile.

This peripheral add on device costs a mere $2.00, whereas a slit lamp device costs as much as $5,000. Moreover, where a slit lamp device needs a skilled operator, this device does not. It utilizes a prompt on the phone to actually tell the operator their diagnosis (refer to video).

Cataracts is one of the leading causes of treatable blindness. Devices such as this one truly show the potential of mobile health, and how mobile technology can be utilized in broad prevention efforts across the globe.

Source: MIT