Peek is a promising new smartphone app that is bringing ophthalmology to rural Kenya. From the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Peek app uses the smartphone camera to scan eyes for cataracts and other abnormalities. It’s like a portable eye exam. The app uses the screen of a smartphone to conduct eye exams with shrinking letters while maintaining patient logs using GPS enabled location tracking.
Peek is being tested on 5,000 lucky Kenyans who otherwise may not have access to an ophthalmologist. The study compares PEEK’s diagnosis with real eye examination equipment, which can cost around £100,000. At £300, a smartphone and app is a steal.
The team is using state of the art hospital based equipment in 100 different locations throughout the Nakuru County. The project requires that they carry the fragile and expensive equipment to all the destinations to examine the study participants. The same patients undergoing comprehensive ophthalmic assessment are also separately undergoing examination by community health care workers using Peek. The results can be compared with one another to ensure that Peek is not only effective but accurate.
- 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired
- 39 million of these people are blind
- 80% of blindness is avoidable
- 90% of blind people live in low-income countries