Across the globe the number of people with sight loss and vision impairment tops over two hundred and eighty five million and for ninety per cent of them, access to optical care and eye doctors can be almost impossible as they are residents of developing countries.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropic Medicine estimate that eighty per cent of all impairment is avoidable and / or can be treated so it does not result in total vision failure. Now, the latest piece of kit called PEEK ( Portable Eye Examination Kit) can walk into such communities and start the all important accessibility to care and treatment that was previously unavailable, in the pocket of an eye care specialist.
The PEEK is the same size as a smart phone and includes clip on hardware to run alongside the app based diagnosis tool to detect eye disease via a rapid sweep of a patients retina.
It is designed to be taken direct to a patient, where an untrained person can easily sweep the retina scan and store the results that can be emailed to any clinician worldwide. A Google Maps facility will re-direct back to the patient for continued care or treatment.
Dr Bastawrous is an opthamologist and researcher from the centre who is using the new device for a study in Kenya to compare it to the effectiveness of hospital based equipment. Five thousand people will be included in the study and all of them will go through re-resting by the mobile clinicians to assess whether it will affect practices and overall increases the access to eye care provision as is hoped.