The anywhere anytime sight test
For many of us, our busy lives mean that non-emergency health checks are often shelved for later – including sight tests. For others, it can be question of access, (especially in rural areas), or even financial circumstances. To help people keep track of their ocular development, iOS application LooC™ helps smartphone users to test their sight in few minutes, wherever they are at the time. LooC™ applies the same standard criteria for sight testing that ophthalmologists use (ISO 8596 norm).
The ophthalmologist’s friend
LooC™’s conception was unusual, emerging as part of an internal initiative to discover and support our own designers’ passion projects at Fjord Berlin. LooC™ was conceived as an independent start-up that was supported by Fjord pro-bono to deepen our knowledge in the health space.
The idea to create LooC™ was born out of a conversation with an ophthalmologist who wanted a way to help him monitor macular degeneration in aging patients without needing to book them in for an appointment every month. Macular degeneration can’t be reversed but in some cases can be halted with timely treatment, so detecting it early is key.
LooC™ was originally developed to help such patients keep tabs on how their eyesight changed over time and to complement the primary, professional care. The clear benefit for the ophthalmologist is that the app frees up the time formerly spent on regular routine checks, allowing him to offer his patients a higher standard of care with the help of additional data.
Really? An app?
During the design process, it became clear that there was an opportunity to help people beyond the aging population and to offer a convenient way to test a number of ocular functions.
Now, LooC™ follows similar procedures as a professional examination, and meets standard criteria for testing (ISO 8596). LooC™ isn’t intended to be the only kind of sight testing people undergo – it should be used in conjunction with professional medical care. LooC™’s user can make the app their first stop, take a few minutes to run a test. The app records the results each time, so the user and their physician can track how their sight is changing, monitor disease progression and spot anomalies.
The beauty of LooC™ lies in its accessibility and ease of use. When presented with a choice between traditional tests and using LooC™ on an iPad®, a test group of older patients actively chose the app, and found it simple to use. LooC™ offers four tests (Near, Distance, Color, Amsler) that enable people to check their own vision easily, and without external help. To support a reliable reading, the app features leading-edge technology such as measuring screen-to-face distance, and alerts you if you (unconsciously) move closer to the screen to see it better.
In Fast Company’s 2019 Innovation by Design Awards LooC™ was a finalist in the User Experience category and received Honorable Mentions in both the Apps and Games and Health categories.
LooC™ empowers people to make informed decisions about their next steps, and allows ophthalmologists to keep track of their patients’ wellbeing.