A team of eye specialists in Kenya is using specially designed mobile phone apps to conduct diagnosis and treatment of people living with eye problems.
The team, led by Dr. Andrew Bastawrous from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is using the application dubbed PEEK or Portable Eye Examination Kit, to scan the lens of the eye before the image is uploaded to a database for further examination by specialists.
Speaking to Voice of America, Bastawrous said that a clip-on camera is attached to the kit, and together with the PEEK app, a patient’s glasses prescription, cataract diagnosis and other eye diseases examinations can be done in just a few seconds.
“I can then take that image, capture it, e-mail it, and upload it to our back-end system. People at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital can review it and anyone can send me feedback,” Bastawrous told VOA.
The team is currently in Nakuru Kenya where they have so far tested about 2000 people for eye problems, with close to 10 percent of those identified as having eye problems. “They absolutely love it. They are all asking to have a go and have their vision tested. So it is certainly very user friendly,” he said.
To make sure that PEEK diagnosis is correct, the doctors compare the results from the app with those of conventional eye testing equipment, some of which is valued at over £100,000, compared to PEEK’s estimated value of £300. So far, PEEK has proven accurate.
The doctors intend to test the application on over 5,000 Kenyans. Those found with cataract problems will receive a fully paid cataract operation, in a bid to reduce the number of people with eye problems across the globe.