MIT Media Lab spinoff EyeNetra raises $2M

By Aditi Pai
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EyeNetraTest OneSight's Mission Trip - Nairobi, Kenya

Somerville, Massachusetts-based EyeNetra, which has developed a mobile-enabled eye diagnostic tool raised $2 million in funding last week, according to an SEC filing. EyeNetra hopes to serve the 2.4 billion people worldwide that don't have glasses, but need them.

The MIT Media Lab Camera Culture Group spinoff allows anyone to take an eye exam using the device, Netra-G, that connects to a smartphone. Netra-G measures nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. After the test, the companion app connects the user to healthcare providers and vendors depending on his or her eye condition on a cloud-based program Test2Connect.

In 2011, the Camera Culture group developed a smartphone peripheral, Catra, that detects cataracts. MobiHealthNews reported last year that future diagnostics from EyeNetra might include a cataracts diagnostic test and retina related diagnostic tests.

Earlier this year, Dr. Ramesh Raskar spoke at TEDMED about the Camera Culture Group's newest project, eyeMITRA. Unlike EyeNetra, this device doesn't snap on to mobile phones, instead eyeMITRA is a pair of smart glasses that displays a realtime image of the wearer’s fundus. Raskar said the technology could be useful as an inexpensive, smaller diagnostic tool for early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes which can lead to blindness.