Can we create a device that makes people aware of their early cataract condition? Using a light-field display, the researchers’ method projects time-dependent patterns onto the fovea. Interactive software measures the visibility and point spread function across subapertures of the crystallin lens. By repeating this procedure for several light-paths, the cataracts size, position, density, and scattering profile are estimated.
Created by the MIT Media Lab, Camera Culture’s research group with Vitor Pamplona, Erick Passos, Jan Zizka, Manuel M. Oliveira, Everett Lawson, Esteban Clua and Ramesh Raskar, CATRA utilizes a forward scattering technique, which allows the user to respond to what they visually experience.
Their device scans the lens section by section. The user sees their projected patterns and presses a few buttons to map the light attenuation in each section of the eye. This information is collected by the device creating an attenuation map of the entire lens. This allows individuals to monitor the progression of the severity of the cataract.
The maps capture a full point spread function of the lens, allowing the researchers to simulate the visual perception of a cataract affected subject over time. Early cataract onset is difficult to diagnose. This device aims at measuring cataracts, which is highly portable and collects quantifiable data to help tackle a global health problem making it ideal for the developing world.