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New Cell Phone App Aims To Correct World Cataract Problems

August 29, 2013

The PEEK app may significantly improve the way the world treats cataracts.

Technology is amazing. Not only have recent technological innovations in the medical industry given us some of the most cutting-edge, state of the art equipment in the world to help improve our eyesight, treat vision disorders and improve our overall quality of life, but many new tech innovators are also working hard to share this same medical need across the entire world.

There have been many vision-related cell phone applications and inventions over the years that aim to ease the process of diagnosing vision problems so that anyone with access to a cell phone app―even those in distant nations and countries―can easily identify their vision problems and look for the next stage of help to correct them. This includes diagnosing cataracts in third-world countries and helping those in need connect to services that may improve their health.

However, one new smart phone app is taking that idea one step further by not only diagnosing vision problems, but also providing an on-location service to correct them right in the village they live in.

PEEK, a one-of-a-kind cell phone app that was developed by a leading team of vision health experts, looks to significantly improve the way in which people are treated who suffer from cataracts and other vision-related problems in the emerging world.

world vision

“PEEK (short for ‘Portable Eye Examination Kit’), pairs an app-based visual diagnosis tool with the portable functionality of smartphone based mapping and location software to put what almost amounts to a full ophthalmology department in a user’s pocket,” writes TechDigest.tv.

“Using the smart phone’s camera in tandem with its flashlight, a travelling doctor can assess whether or not a patient is suffering from a cataract or other eye problems. An image is captured with the camera, alongside the patient’s location, and sent back to the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, where it’s given a thorough examination. Once a number of test have been carried out locally, the team on the ground can then set up an accessible treatment centre locally, using Google Maps to assess the most convenient location.”

Because the application is able to carry out a number of different eye examinations, from distance visual accuracy to cataract diagnosis, that means that a typically $15,000 eye examination usually requiring static equipment will now be able to be conducted all from a simple $300 smart phone.

And while the technology of PEEK is still being tested, early reports on the technology have been very promising.

“Though still in a testing phase in Nakuru, Kenya, a trial of 5,000 people has already seen 1,000 people get sight-saving treatment that they would have otherwise missed,” reports TechDigest.tv. “If rolled out on a wider scale, there’s the potential for many, many more people to get access to the medical attention they require. The World Health Organization estimates some 285 million people have eye problems, four out of five of which are curable. PEEK could lead the charge in dropping those numbers considerably.”

What do you think about this new vision technology app? Do you think that smart phones or technology in general are the future of medical diagnoses? Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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