An open-source, ultra low-cost, portable screening device for retinal diseases.


Re-imaging indirect ophthalmoscopy for the era of open innovation

Indirect Ophthalmoscopy is the most important technique in a ophthalmic clinician's toolbox, allowing them to view desired portions of a patient's retina (the inner tissue of the eyeball which is light sensitive and responsible for vision). This is an invaluable technique to rapidly look for irregularities, pathologies and any other conditions in the retina which may be potentially vision-threatening. These images are termed "fundus" images.

Click here to know more details about device development and Check here for software development.


Our product - the Open Indirect Ophthalmoscope - brings all the advantages of the latest technologies into this age-old but elegant technique. The elegant and intuitive form factor brings a new dimension to this technique - portability and new possibilities for image post-processing. Our device enables clinicians to see the same features and level of detail that they are normally accustomed to with the additional portability which enables this powerful technique to be taken out into smaller clinics, field workers and the remotest of locations.


The device was envisioned as an intuitive handheld device which would require no complex instructions to the patient. Interaction is as straightforward as looking through a pair of binoculars.



The device integrates into a massive online grading system (theia) built by graduate students at MIT Media Lab. This system is able to grade the severity of DR in images on a scale of 0 (not present) to 4 (severe). The system uses a deep learning algorithm (convolutional neural networks) and a powerful GPU accelerated machine to be able to process images on cloud in a few seconds. This enables rapid screening and triage without the need for a trained expert to assess each and every image, a powerful tool for eye care clinics and public health programs.

DR comparison_edit.png

What does this mean for the patient? Those small white spots lead to "blind spots" in one's field of view. The image on the left simulates vision for someone suffering from this condition. If left unchecked, this can lead to permanent vision loss and the inability to perform routine tasks. India, where we are building this product, has the dubious reputation of being the diabetes capital of the world - about 63 million people suffer from diabetes, with this figure likely to go upto 80 million by 2025. About 37% of urban south asians suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing DR. Timely treatment can reduce risks by more than 90%, however symptoms of vision loss only present themselves after significant progression of the disease.





  • Sandeep Vempati - Project Lead
  • Dr. Jay Kumar Chhablani - Retina Specialist
  • Tristan Swedish - ML/ Optics
  • Dhruv Joshi - ML/ Engineering
  • Devesh Jain - Illumination