How iPhone macro photography helps an eye doctor do his job

Tips & Techniques

The new iPhone 13 Pro has some pretty cool new specs, including a macro lens. Sure, it can be of great help for us photographers, but have you ever thought that it could help a doctor in his job? An ophthalmologist Dr. Tommy Korn has recently demonstrated how the iPhone 13 Pro’s macro eye photography helps him and his patients, and it’s really fun to see (no pun intended) how phone photography can be repurposed.

In a LinkedIn post, Dr. Korn explained how and why his iPhone became an eye-phone. First, his patients can take a photo themselves and send it to the care team for an assessment. Next, a doctor can do a video chat with patients for non-urgent eye conditions. This way, they’re spared the visit to the office and in-person appointments are reserved for critical eye conditions. It’s not only a great solution for the pandemic era but also makes it faster for you to get an assessment.

What’s also great is that Dr. Korn can follow his patients’ progress thanks to images. He or the patient can take photos and compare them to the ones before. This makes progress tracking easier and more accurate.

Interestingly enough, before switching to iPhone, Dr. Korn used a Nikon D800 with a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens to photograph his patients’ eyes. However, it was quite a hassle. “I would take pictures of the patient’s eye using that camera and then I would have to take the card out, upload it, and put it into my computer records. There were lots of friction points,” the doctor explains.

So, when the iPhone 6+ was launched, Dr. Korn started using it along with an adapter attached to his slit-lamp eye camera. Take a look:

But with the macro mode introduced in the iPhone 13 Pro, he can now only use his phone and reduce the hassle even further. And thanks to the sharing options, it’s easier for Dr. Korn to share the photos with his patients so they have a record, too.

This reminded me of a post I wrote back in 2017, about possible applications of selfies. One of the alternative uses of smartphone cameras was for medical purposes, and this is exactly what Dr. Korn uses it for. I also see this method used by dermatologists to detect various skin conditions. And with the advancement of technology, cameras, and AI, I think it’s safe to assume that this approach will be used even more in the future.

[via PetaPixel]

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