New Smartphone App Promises Easy Eye Testing Worldwide

Tim Chester | Mashable | November 26, 2014

The team behind a smartphone-based portable eye examination kit have just launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for new innovation.  Peek comprises a smartphone app and low-cost adaptor that enables professional eye examinations anywhere in the world. Developed by a team of eye care specialists, software developers and product designers, it aims to increase access to high-quality eye care worldwide.

The tools have been developed through a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Strathclyde and the NHS Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research.  Their latest adaptor, Peek Retina, can be clipped over the camera of a smartphone to allow health workers to see inside an eye and capture high-quality images to be sent to experts for diagnosis. It removes the need for traditional ophthalmoscopes and bulky cameras, enabling examinations in any part of the world. Other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can be detected.

"Around 39 million people are blind," Peek's creator Dr Andrew Bastawrous told Mashable. "80% of this blindness is avoidable, but in many regions people don't have access to eye care," he said.  The Indiegogo campaign allows pledgers to purchase the kit for themselves for £60 ($95) or pay for it to be sent to a healthcare worker on their behalf, via their partners Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness...