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EyePhone: How one doctor is using the iPhone 13 Pro’s macro capabilities to remotely assess patients

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One of the new camera features in Apple’s new iPhone 13 Pro lineup is a macro photography mode, made possible by the devices’ ultrawide camera module. While this new macro capability can be used for your more conventional macro photography, one ophthalmologist has discovered the feature can also be used for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.

In a pair of posts on his LinkedIn profile, first discovered by 9to5Mac, ophthalmologist Tommy Korn, MD shares how he’s been using the new macro capabilities of the new iPhone 13 Pro models in conjunction with virtual appointments to keep up with his patients’ eye health from afar by having them capture macro photographs of their own eyes and send them to his team for analysis. These ‘high quality macro eye photos,’ Dr. Korn says, allow him and his team to ‘rapidly identify eye emergencies.’

In the above images, used with permission from Dr. Korn, we see a patient using the macro capabilities of their iPhone 13 Pro to capture a close-up of their eye, which recently underwent a cornea transplant. By capturing these images and sending them to Dr. Korn, both the patient and Dr. Korn can ensure the surgery is healing as it should without needing to go into the office.

Close-up photographs of a patient’s eye are captured to ensure their eye is recovering post-surgery for a cornea transplant.

Even before Apple’s new iPhone 13 Pro, Dr. Korn has been using iPhones to help improve eye care, particularly in more senior patients. Previously, Dr. Korn and his team used an iPhone adapted to a Nikkor 105mm Macro to get a closer look at patients’ eyes. He then built a rig that used an iPhone mounted onto a slit lamp to both view and capture close-up shots of a patient’s eye.

Dr. Korn, who’s a ‘long[time] fan of DPReview,‘ tells us the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will only further improve his efforts to improve telehealth by allowing patients to capture close-up photos of their own eyes to send in, which not only saves time and resources, but ensures care for those who would otherwise be unable to make it into an eye clinic.


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