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An app leading the blind

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Posted August 2, 2013

A smartphone app could improve travel arrangements and safety for sufferers of the otherwise debilitating sight problem of night blindness.

A smartphone app that keeps track of your location and distance walked from home or hotel and warns you when you are likely to be caught out after dark has been developed by researchers in Pakistan to help sufferers of the debilitating disease night blindness. The app can also help travellers with the disease pinpoint hotels should they find themselves too far from base to get home safely.

The researchers describe details of the smartphone software in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation.

Kamran Ahsan, Obaid Khan and Abdul Salam of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, in Karachi, explain how night blindness, nyctalopia, afflicts millions and may be present at birth as a genetic disease, arise in childhood through malnutrition or injury or be a symptom of numerous eye diseases. Sufferers find it difficult or impossible to see in low-light conditions and so can be very much at-risk if darkness falls while they are in a strange city or even in their home town. Of course, many people with nyctalopia never venture from their home environment because of their disability.

Read more at: Phys.org

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