White Eye Detector App Released for Android Devices

Android® users are now able to do what iPhone® users have been able to do since May 2014—scan smartphone photos for a white or yellow eye glow commonly indicative of 16 childhood eye diseases. The CRADLE app also known as the White Eye Detector is now available on Apple® and Android® devices, makes it possible to scan photos for the glow. The free app is a simple to use and an excellent resource for parents to identify the potentially dangerous glow.

Chemist Bryan Shaw from Baylor University knows first-hand the importance of early glow detection. His son, Noah, lost his eye to Retinoblastoma, driving Shaw to develop the simple digital tool. Read more about Noah’s story and the story behind the CRADLE app.

The White-Eye Detector detects glow in three steps:

  1. 1.) Photos and videos stored on the phone are searched for faces.
  2. 2.) Once the app identifies faces, it searches for eyes.
  3. 3.) Locked into all eyes displayed in photos, those eyes are reviewed for variations in would-be red eye. The user is alerted if any photos indicate a white, golden or yellow glow.

The app has become particularly popular in Germany, where it was downloaded 20,000 times after a story on German RTL news, and some German doctors are reporting using it in clinics.

In the U.S., the Android release drew attention through an interview on Huffpost® Live.


The app is under clinical review at the Harvard Cancer Institute, and Shaw and his associates are seeking FDA approval to use it as a clinical test in addition to, or perhaps in place of, the more common Red Eye Reflex Test.

Shaw believes the free app’s international availability will help people—especially those with little access to health care—detect potential issues early.

Having received email feedback, Shaw knows of two early diagnoses in Germany in which the app was key to detecting “the glow,” aiding doctors in diagnosing Retinoblastoma at an early stage.

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