The pocket-sized instrument can diagnose the main causes of blindness in found in low resource settings such as cataract, trachoma, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It can also be used as an otoscope to examine inside the ear. This versatility means it can help reveal a host of diseases helping to alleviate the burden of needless blindness and deafness afflicting low resource regions.
The device is small, robust and light making it highly portable, suitable to be hung around the neck on a lanyard or placed in a top pocket like a pen. A slim rechargeable lithium battery linked to an integrated solar panel powers the long-lasting LED illumination, removing the need for expensive and hard to find consumables. Clinical trials have shown the Arclight to be just as effective but easier to use than more expensive traditional ophthalmoscopes.
It is also possible to attach the Arclight to a mobile phone camera offering the potential to develop and strengthen telemedicine initiatives.