Peek Vision has developed a smartphone application and camera adapter offering simple, low-cost and high-quality eye examinations to patients in rural communities.
Peek – the Portable Eye Examination Kit – is an affordable and portable solution helping to prevent blindness in low-income countries. Health care workers equipped with a mobile phone and a solar backpack – for easy charging of their devices – can access remote households to eliminate the need for patients to travel to clinics.
The app displays shrinking letters on mobile phones or tablets, providing a simple yet elegant vision test suitable for people speaking any language. Using a specifically engineered low-cost camera adapter, smartphones are also used to capture images of the retina. Examination results and images of retinas are stored and can be shared with experts internationally. Locations of patients are also stored on GPS, helping to coordinate future treatment.
Why you should care
According to the World Health Organization, there are 285 million visually impaired people worldwide, around 90% of whom live in developing countries. At the same time, it is estimated that 80% of blindness can be avoided or cured. Peek Vision smartphone software is free, and the hardware manufacturing costs are under $170, compared to conventional eye examination equipment which costs over $170,000, according to the organization. This solution, recently tested in several studies, is an extremely promising technology for blindness prevention in rural communities.