Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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inSight: Mobile Retina Imager for Diabetic Retinopathy

inSight: Mobile Retina Imager for Diabetic Retinopathy

Competition Year: 2012

A breakthrough mobile technology to image the human eye retina, for early diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy to prevent global blindness.

Health and Medical Mobile Devices and Communications Emergency and Disaster Relief

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Our Pitch

Diabetic Retinopathy is a well-recognized complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Globally, over 2 million people around the world have lost their sight from Diabetic Retinopathy and this figure is expected to double by the year 2030. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), early treatment of retinopathy can reduce the chance of vision loss by more than 90% [1].

Early detection is everything.

However, screening programs and diagnostics currently take highly-trained professionals and sophisticated electronic equipment. According to the WHO, “for most low-income countries, the logistical requirements of screening, treatment and follow-up may be difficult or currently impossible to meet.” The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates “50% of 25.8 million diabetics are not getting their eyes examined or are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.” [2]

We have developed a solution, called ‘PRISM’, to meet the demand for global Diabetic Retinopathy screenings. Incorporated into a comfortable pair of sunglasses, our system can quickly and efficiently photograph the retina to detect Retinopathy without the need for a trained professional. Trading mobile computation for advanced optics, we have significantly reduced the cost of a retinal imaging system (like a fundus camera) from $50,000-$200,000 to just under $50.


Provide a portable, fast, inexpensive diabetic retinopathy screening tool to prevent blindness worldwide.

Who We Are

Everett Lawson - Everett is a researcher at the MIT Media Lab with focus in retinal imaging. He is currently an MS candidate (Media Arts & Sciences) working on cognitive and pre-cognitive visual processes at the Camera Culture group. After completing his master’s degree in violin performance at the National Conservatoire of Music in the Czech Republic, and Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Everett has worked extensively on new and innovative technologies for screening a diverse range of conditions within the eye. He is the recipient of numerous grants, and fellowship awards, including a Google Innovation award in 2011. He has travelled extensively and worked with numerous health organizations worldwide as a volunteer.

Siddharth Khullar - Siddharth is a doctoral candidate at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He is pursuing research work in the field of Functional Brain Imaging, focusing on developing novel computational imaging methods for improved analysis of functional MRI (fMRI) data. Khullar completed his MS degree in electrical engineering from RIT with a focus in image and video processing in 2009. His research has been published in many renowned medical journals and conferences. He envisions a future where every household will have a mobile-medical screening system, thus creating a possibility for easy and accessible healthcare facilities and thus a better lifestyle for all mankind.

Jason Boggess - Jason is an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduate student specializing in computer graphics and vision. Boggess earned his BSME from Iowa State University and graduated summa cum laude and with honors. He spent the better part of a year working for the Collaborative Human Immersive Lab at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Waterton facility where he integrated virtual reality tools for engineering assessment. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and worked on the CATRA project—the cataract assessment tool on a cellphone—as a software developer and research assistant.

Ramesh Raskar - Ramesh is the Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab and leader of earlier research in eye-diagnostics, NETRA (for eyeglasses) and CATRA (for cataract).. In 2009, he was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2010, he received the Darpa Young Faculty award. He holds over 40 US patents and has received four Mitsubishi Electric Invention Awards. Role - project mentor.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name

Joslin diabetes center


Boston, MA


World's preeminent Diabetes research and clinical care and education organization


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Comments and Support

  • All the best.! Its great work and I hope his technology can reach masses.

    Posted by Rajeswari Kannan on Mon, Apr 30th 2012, 11:08 Report Abuse

  • Like the work

    Posted by C. Wen on Sat, Apr 28th 2012, 20:22 Report Abuse

  • all the best sir...

    Posted by Dr.Ramakanteswararao on Sat, Apr 28th 2012, 18:38 Report Abuse

  • All the wishes!!!

    Posted by S. Dahiya on Fri, Apr 13th 2012, 14:50 Report Abuse

  • Do Well!

    Posted by Q. Yu on Fri, Apr 13th 2012, 12:17 Report Abuse

  • Do well Team Insight.Hope to see you on top.

    Posted by R. Khullar on Wed, Apr 11th 2012, 12:07 Report Abuse

  • All the best

    Posted by Srinivas on Tue, Apr 10th 2012, 16:24 Report Abuse

  • All the best Team inSight!!!

    Posted by Gaveesh Jain on Tue, Apr 10th 2012, 00:38 Report Abuse

  • All the best Team inSight !! It's a wonderful technology, with true world changing implications, that you're working on. You have all my support...all the best..cheers!

    Posted by N. Jain on Mon, Apr 9th 2012, 23:43 Report Abuse

  • All the best to your team! The implications of this kind of technology would be absolutely amazing and world-changing. You have all my support in your endeavors. Luck!

    Posted by M. Juarez on Mon, Apr 9th 2012, 19:26 Report Abuse

  • Hi Team inSight! Welcome to IDEAS Global Challenge. Looking forward to hearing more about your work. If there's anything I can help with as you go through the competition, give me a holler. Cheers!

    Posted by K. Mytty on Wed, Dec 28th 2011, 15:46 Report Abuse

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