According to a new report published in Engineering Reports, smartphones could be used to scan people's eyes for early-warning signs of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for a good and clear vision. The condition, which is estimated to affect about 79.6 million people worldwide, is often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people above 60.
After discovering a relationship between an object's internal pressure and its acoustic reflection coefficient, scientists of Birmingham University in Britain conducted further studies using sound waves and an eye model.
They found that Soundwaves could be used as a mobile measurement method for detecting the increasing values of IOP, prompting early diagnosis and treatment.
"With further investigation into eye geometry and how this affects the interaction with soundwaves, it is possible to use a smartphone to accurately measure IOP from the comfort of the user's home," said Khamis Essa, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Group at the University of Birmingham.
Glaucoma is associated with a high level of intraocular pressure (IOP), and an accurate, non-invasive way of monitoring a person's IOP over a long period would help to increase their chances of maintaining their vision. IOP is a vital measurement of healthy vision, defined as the pressure created by continued renewal of eye fluids.