high school student creates 3D printed device to detect degenerative eye disease

16-year-old Kavya Kopparapu put her interest in science to good use by creating a 3D printed device that can various symptoms of detect degenerative eye disease. She was inspired to take on the project when her grandfather began showing signs of diabetic retinopathy. While the disease was caught early on and he did not lose all of his vision, she vowed to find a way to help others going through similar issues.

The 3D printed device works by connecting to an AI smartphone app. Using the smartphone’s camera and flash, a lens on the device illuminates the back of the retina similar to the high-tech machines found in an optometrist’s office. The camera captures an image of the back of the retina, which is then scanned and analyzed by the app.

3D printed device works with a smartphone to detect symptoms

Using image data from the NIH National Eye Institute eyeGENE database, the app can then alert the user if there are any signs of degenerative eye disease present.

Currently, diabetic retinopathy affects one third of diabetics across the world. Because there aren’t a lot of noticeable symptoms, it often goes undetected until vision loss is permanent.

The 3D printed device can help prevent blindness in diabetics

Kopparapu didn’t work on this project alone, as she enlisted help from her classmate Justin Zhang and her 15-year-old brother, Neeyanth.

In addition to this project, Kopparapu has started her own nonprofit organization called GirlsComputingLeague which is helping underprivileged children learn how to code.

Read the full article on 3D Printing Industry.

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