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Testing visual acuity in the community using Peek

Peek: innovation to bridge the gap between providers and patients

Can mobile technology help us bridge the gap and deliver eye care to poor and remote settings?

80% of the 285 million visually impaired and blind people in the world who have treatable or preventable visual impairment live in low-income countries: often in rural and remote settings. How do you test and treat these people where expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by or difficult to carry?

More people in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa have access to a mobile phone than they do clean running water (The New York Times, 2010). Can we harness the power of mobile technology to deliver eye care in a new way?

Peek Vision is a smartphone system that might just help. Peek is an easy to use, affordable and portable system for testing eyes that has been extensively tested and trialled. It replaces traditional hospital equipment, which is bulky, expensive and fragile, with apps and hardware that make it possible to test anyone in any language and of any age. It enables non medical professionals such as teachers and community healthcare workers to deliver eye care everywhere.

Is innovation the answer?

Patient awareness and local beliefs often prevent people from accessing eye care services. How do you think this technology can influence patient demand for services?

Consider also that diagnosis in the field has to be followed up with good referral mechanisms. Can this be established or strengthened to cope with the demand that this technology may create?

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Blindness: Planning and Managing Eye Care Services

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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