According to the World Health Organization, about 90% of the world’s visually impaired people reside in developing countries where although treatment is available in the cities and major towns, it is often difficult for those living in the remote areas to access eye care providers and get diagnosed.
Dr. Andrew Bastawrous of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and his colleagues of experts in research, technology, and, of course, eye care have developed a smartphone app that can be used to conduct eye exams in any environment.
Peek, which stands for Portable Eye Examination Kit, uses the camera of the smartphone to scan the eye. It also uses the camera flash to illuminate the eye and check for possible diseases. Peek can be used to test for color vision, visual acuity, visual field, and contrast sensitivity. It can also be used for lens imaging, retinal imaging, and image grading. The app can also take patient records and tag them via GPS. The patient’s exam results can then be emailed to doctors.
The team is currently testing the app in Kenya and is using it alongside conventional eye exam equipment to compare results. The Peek team and their partner organizations believe the app can be a huge help in providing portable and affordable eye care to those who really need it.