Samsung recycles its old mobiles to detect eye diseases

Eye exams using Samsung Galaxy phones.

Eye exams using Samsung Galaxy phones.

Samsung has started to repurpose its older Galaxy smartphones to give eye care in disadvantaged countries, using the mobile camera to detect eye diseases in people through the camera.

Older Galaxy mobile phones are introduced to eyelike handheld eye cameras, that connect to a lens attachment for improved fundus diagnosis, while the ‘smartphone’ is used to capture images, as Samsung has reported in a statement.

The Galaxy device then uses an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm to analyze and diagnose images of eye diseases and connects to an application that captures patient data and suggests a treatment regimen.

This diagnostic camera can detect patients looking for conditions that can lead to blindness, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

The process takes place “at a fraction of the cost of commercial instruments”, as highlighted by Samsung, which has carried out this initiative to help disadvantaged populations in Vietnam and is now extending it to India, Morocco and Papua New Guinea.

To do this, Samsung partnered in 2018 with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) in South Korea. Since then he has cared for more than 19,000 residents in Vietnam with his portable retinal camera.

Samsung is also expanding its capabilities into new areas of screening, including using recycled Galaxy devices to create smartphone-based portable colposcopes to detect cervical cancer.

As part of its Galaxy Upcycling program, in which this initiative is framed, Samsung has been giving other uses to mobile phones since 2017 that are no longer used to generate a positive impact.


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