Thirty-nine million people worldwide are blind, with a large percentage of sufferers living in the world’s poorest countries. As current tools for assessing eye health are expensive, Peek [Portable Eye Examination Kit] was developed. It uses smartphone technology to examine eyes affordably and easily. Looking at the retina is crucial to identify conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. With a 3D-printed device that clips onto a smartphone, healthcare workers can get high-quality views of the retina though the phone’s video camera; the images can be stored and shared with others via SMS or email. Over the last few years, successful trials have been carried out in Kenya, Botswana and Mali. Results show that, using Peek, healthcare workers can assess over 1,000 people each week. A crowd funding campaign is being undertaken to enable Peek to manufacture the device on a larger scale. They aim to distribute the product by October 2015.
Written by Katie Panteli
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.