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Mobile Health Around the Globe: EyeNetra Offers SmartPhone Eye Diagnostics

2 Mins read


Over 4 billion people in the world require eyeglasses.  And most of them can’t afford testing or don’t have access to it. EyeNetra hopes to change that.



Over 4 billion people in the world require eyeglasses.  And most of them can’t afford testing or don’t have access to it. EyeNetra hopes to change that.


Netra (image above from WebMediaMIT) is the world’s first smartphone eye diagnostic.  With Netra, anyone, anywhere can conduct thier own eye test with accuracy and ease using a smartphone and the Netra clip-on device.  Netra measures farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia and pupillary distance.

EyeNetra’s vision (from their website):

“We envision a world where all people feel empowered and able to make informed decisions about their health. We are, in particular, passionate about sight – we believe everyone has the right to experience their world and their journey with perfect visual performance. We are not satisfied with the current state of vision care, and we see a near future where mobile technologies and self-diagnostics will create a true sea change, bringing light and possibility to eyes everywhere. At EyeNetra, we are committed to making that future real.”

EyeNetra’s co-founder, Vitor Pamplona, is not a doctor or an optician.  But it seems as though he is ready to disrupt the $75 billion global eye-care market.Image

Anyone can use EyeNetra’s clip-on refractor device.  Will this eliminate the need for a doctor?  Pamplona doesn’t think so.  He explains to the MIT Technology Review,

“We’re changing medicine by providing the user the right to measure themselves.  We see doctors as more of a coach.”

Apparently, EyeNetra works by measuring how well your eye focuses light.  The user aligns green and red lines and the app calculates the difference between what you see and the actual location of the lines.  The user can then, with the same app, order glasses from an online store. 

Here is a great slideshare presentation for those who want more detail:


Netra is being field testing in numerous countries around the globe.  Some stats to consider: 
  • 517 million people have uncorrected near-vision impairment.
  • 153 million have uncorrected far-vision impairment. 
  • Uncorrected Refractive Errors are the 2nd leading cause of blindness* globally (*WHO definition of blindness is vision worse that 3/60 in the better eye.)
Just think of all the people in rural areas that could not access eye diagnosticians or afford them.  What a difference this could make!

To see an excellent short presentation of Netra, watch the following video:


To read other posts in this exclusive ongoing series, please visit the Mobile Health Around the Globe main page. And if you have a Mobile Health Around the Globe story to tell, please post a comment below or email me at  Thanks!

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