The prototype of a device that does retinal exams using a smartphone will represent Brazil in an international innovation competition held next month in Germany. The device, called Smart Retinal Camera (SRC), was developed by three former students of the University of São Paulo (USP) in São Carlos and is a portable version of the retina, a device that allows the observation and recording of retinal images.
“Our goal is to help underserved communities, since poor cities do not have ophthalmologists, and a traditional tabletop device costs $ 70 to $ 80,000. We expect it to cost ten times less than standard equipment,” he says. the computer engineer José Augusto Stuchi, one of the creators of the project.
He is also a co-founder and engineer of Phelcom, a startup created by the group to develop the prototype, which was funded by the Small Business Innovation Research Program (PIPE) of the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP).
Stuchi says the project started two years ago and a mechanical eye was used to do the tests. “With this equipment, an operator can examine, the images will be captured by the cell phone and sent to the cloud for analysis by a physician through telemedicine. It is possible to examine and detect if patient will deveop glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. “All retinal problems can be detected with this device”, he explains.
For tests on humans, the group is checking the possibility of doing in universities or request an authorization for the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (Anvisa). The expectation is that, by 2018, the device is already on the market.
Competition. Last month, the former students participated in the national edition of Falling Walls Lab, a competition for innovative solutions that can contribute to society in many different areas. In all, 94 projects competed. In the final, which will be held on 8 and 9 November in Germany, they will have to face 99 competitors from various parts of the world.
“We are developing a technical project, but behind the equipment, we have the dream to fulfill our mission, which is to bring innovation to improve the people life and health.”