UC Davis Student Invents Simple Eye Exam


I didn’t know what engineering was for a
long time. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I took cellular biology that I
realized I could do engineering. And then I came to college and I realized
I didn’t like biology at all, but I really liked engineering. I signed up for this major without having
any idea what, what it involved. I just saw the word, you know, medical and engineering,
and I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I could help somebody. When I was a freshman in college I studied
abroad immediately, to get some experience and see a little bit of the world. I was in
the Amazon rainforest where I was lucky enough to shadow these medical students. It was incredible how many, how many patients
were already at the door at 7 am. And some of them walked for, for hours, through the
jungle, to get to the clinic. At the end of the day when were packing up,
an old man had come to us, and this man wanted a pair of glasses. We couldn’t give him
a prescription. We didn’t know what prescription he needed, so we couldn’t give him a pair. I realized if I had just made an instrument
that was very intuitive to use, I could bypass the fact that there aren’t a lot of clinicians
in developing nations. The diagnostic could be handed to any medical students, or any
student, and they’d know how to use it like the View Master, and they’d be able to get
someone’s prescription easily. We call it the VisionFinder. It’s basically
those large phoropters you see at the Optometrist’s, and we shrunk it down into this tiny travel
size, almost children’s toy. Suddenly it
just hit me. This is the right thing to do.
You know, you have that moment in your life and you know, this is the right thing to do,
everything is fitting the way it should be. All the puzzles are coming together, and,
and I went with it, I did it.

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