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Subspecialties Business and Innovation, Basic & Translational Research, Comprehensive, Health Economics and Policy, Practice Management

Eye-Phone Diagnosis

Many low- and middle-income areas of the world have insufficient eye care provisions to meet the minimum requirements set out by WHO, which leads to many people unnecessarily becoming or remaining visually impaired. Now, a smartphone app has almost tripled the number of people attending ophthalmic primary care appointments within the Kenyan Trans Nzoia County community. The Peek Community Eye Health system uses smartphone-based vision screening and referrals – allowing community volunteers to go door-to-door and perform initial eye screenings with the decision-guiding app. Any eye problems identified at this stage result in an automatic referral for follow-up appointments, supported by SMS reminders to maximize patient attendance and treatment. This has improved access to care and maximized the time hospitals have to spend on serious cases – more effectively managing ophthalmologists’ limited time.


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  1. H Rono et al., Lancet Digital Health, 3, e414 (2021). PMID: 34167763.
About the Author
Geoffrey Potjewyd

Associate Editor, The Ophthalmologist

The lion’s share of my PhD was spent in the lab, and though I mostly enjoyed it (mostly), what I particularly liked was the opportunity to learn about the latest breakthroughs in research. Communicating science to a wider audience allows me to scratch that itch without working all week only to find my stem cell culture has given up the ghost on the Friday (I’m not bitter). Fortunately for me, it turns out writing is actually fun – so by working for Texere I get to do it every day, whilst still being an active member of the clinical and research community.

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