Alike wealth distribution, eye care is widespread in the rich countries while its impact is greatly underestimated in the third world ones. Around the World, almost 285 million people are blind or visually impaired and the 80% of them could be avoided or healed.
The real issue is the availability of professional ophthalmologists in poor countries. That’s why the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is developing and testing a mobile application: Peek.
The aim of the application is to replace the expensive medical equipment with an application that scans the ocular bulb, operating a complete checkup. Thanks to Peek, cataract, myopias and many other ocular illnesses could be easily detected. Thanks to the camera, the itinerant doctor (n.b. not a specialist doctor) could check how the eyes are reacting to particular stimuli, archive the data linked to the patient and geo-localise him.
The application has been already tested in Kenya and in Antarctica and the team is making the last tests to ensure that the application is precise enough for medical standards.
Many applications have been created in order to ask professional questions to doctors and specialists but Peek is one the few applications that have the potential to substitute completely the doctor for the daily checkups (another one that comes up to my mind is Propeller, a device helping tracking asthma and COPD level, but you’ll still need a device that needs to be sync with the mobile application). Let’s just hope that application like this one will widespread and start to be available both in poor countries and rich ones. They could allow us to save us hundreds of Euros and hours reducing the number of visiting and the waiting lists at the hospitals (enabling us to go to the doctor only for specialist visits).