Getting the Idea Out There
“I am a consultant pediatric ophthalmologist and it’s my ‘go-to’ ophthalmoscope – I always have one in my pocket in the clinic!”
I was mentored in my first ophthalmology job in Leicester, UK, by John Sandford-Smith, a much-respected ophthalmologist in the international and low-income setting. I always kept in touch with John, even after he retired, and several years later, he introduced me to William J Williams who’d had an idea for a low-cost ophthalmoscope using LEDs instead of filament bulbs. We chatted and I forwarded on different bits of old equipment he could take apart and play with. Because William likes to keep his head down and out of the “limelight,” John and I have been supporting him over the past few years in developing, evaluating and promoting the device along with several other key people. Contact with the Fred Hollows Foundation, in particular with Richard Le Mesurier, brought seed development money to move to a production version. Through my position in the University of St Andrews Global Health Team, I’ve been well placed to evaluate the device, and present and publish work related to the device. This has led to greater awareness and interest in the Arclight.
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