Nav: Home

Miniaturized infrared cameras take colored photos of the eye

June 19, 2018

Look into one's eye and you might be able to see their soul. Or at least you can see signs of a stroke or diabetes. By looking at the blood vessels in the eyes, doctors can tell a lot about a person's health. This can be done using fundus photography, which has been around for almost two centuries and is the standard imaging tool used by ophthalmologists. However, for many, especially the poor, traveling to a clinic is not practical. Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), in partnership with scientists at the University of Tokyo, have devised a new fundus camera small enough to fit on a smartphone that could get around this problem. The study was described at the 2018 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits this month.

NAIST Professor Jun Ohta is researching the interface of photonic materials and biomedical treatments for the eye.

"We study photonic devices for biomedical uses. One of our goals is retinal prosthesis to restore vision. We work on highly sensitive imaging sensors for diagnostics of the eye," he said.

When taking a photo of the fundus, the camera must align itself with the path of light that travels through the retina to the back of the eye. The eye, however, makes regular and rapid movements, constantly changing this path. To resolve this problem, the new camera described at the symposium achieves 1000 images/s.

Another challenge when imaging the fundus is the wavelengths of light detected by the camera. To take a clear fundus image, a strong flush light must be introduced inside an eye through a pupil because it is completely dark inside the eye.

For this second problem, the researchers modified CMOS cameras. The cameras use microelectronics technology to acquire color images by using three kinds of invisible light or near infrared light. The new module was developed on a miniaturized sensor and incorporates three near infrared filters. These filters acquire three signals that can be given a red, green and blue value to generate a color photograph of the eye while using near infrared light that is not sensed.

Importantly, at 2.3 mm2 in size, the module is small enough to be mounted on a smartphone without compromising the power necessary for capturing highly detailed images with which a user can take a fundus image by him/herself. Ohta imagines a future where patients can be diagnosed with nothing more than the phone in their pocket.

"People may be able to take a picture of their eye by themselves and know the status of their health from the fundus image. This could open the door for a personal healthcare system using fundus images. In addition, they could send it to a doctor over the internet. For people in countries like Japan perhaps, visiting an ophthalmologist is not difficult. However, in many countries, it is a real privilege. I want to see our technology improve people's health globally," he said.
-end-
This research has been supported by the ACCEL project (Research Director: Professor Masatoshi Ishikawa, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo) from Japan Science and Technology Agency.

Resource

Title: Next-generation Fundus Camera with Full Color Image Acquisition in 0-lx Visible Light by 1.12-micron Square Pixel, 4K, 30-fps BSI CMOS Image Sensor with Advanced NIR Multi-spectral Imaging System

Authors: Hirofumi Sumi, Hironari Takehara, Shunsuke Miyazaki, Daiki Shirahige, Kiyotaka Sasagawa, Takashi Tokuda, Yoshihiro Watanabe, Norimasa Kishi, Jun Ohta & Masatoshi Ishikawa

Publication: 2018 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits

Information about Prof. Ohta lab can be found at the following website: http://mswebs.naist.jp/LABs/pdslab/index-e.html

Nara Institute of Science and Technology

Related Smartphone Articles:

App analyzes coronavirus genome on a smartphone
A team led by Garvan's Dr Ira Deveson developed the app 'Genopo' that can analyse the coronavirus genome on a portable Android device.
Smartphone accelerometers could help in resistance workouts and rehabilitation protocols
Smartphone accelerometers are effective tools to measure key time-under-tension indicators of muscle training -- and could help in resistance-based workouts and rehabilitation protocols.
Parents' smartphone use does not harm parent/child relationships
Contrary to popular views, parental smartphone use is rarely associated with poor parenting, and more often than not, tends to be associated with warm and attached parenting.
The effects of smartphone use on parenting
Parents may worry that spending time on their smartphones has a negative impact on their relationships with their children.
Inexpensive retinal diagnostics via smartphone
Retinal damage due to diabetes is now considered the most common cause of blindness in working-age adults.
Nanosensor can alert a smartphone when plants are stressed
MIT engineers can closely track how plants respond to stresses such as injury, infection, and light damage using sensors made of carbon nanotubes.
Smartphone apps not accurate enough to spot all skin cancers
Smartphone apps that assess the risk of suspicious moles cannot be relied upon to detect all cases of skin cancer, finds a review of the evidence published by The BMJ today.
Detecting mental and physical stress via smartphone
The team led by Professor Enrico Caiani of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, has shown that it is possible to use our smartphones without any other peripherals or wearables to accurately extract vital parameters, such as heart beat rate and stress level.
Smartphone app reminds heart patients to take their pills
Heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions, according to a study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2019).
Object identification and interaction with a smartphone knock
A KAIST team has featured a new technology, 'Knocker', which identifies objects and executes actions just by knocking on it with the smartphone.
More Smartphone News and Smartphone Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.