About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: 2012
Based: London
Website: www.peekvision.org
Twitter: @peekteam
Categories: Health, Science and Technology

Peek Vision has created an easy-to-use, affordable and portable system for testing eyes anywhere in the world - from surgeries to patients’ homes. It’s a collaboration between London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research.

285 million people worldwide are blind or visually impaired. Yet the reasons behind blindness are often simple and easy to treat, and an estimated 85 per cent of cases are avoidable. The real problem is reaching and diagnosing patients in remote settings.

Peek Vision started in 2012 when Dr. Andrew Bastawrous was planning a community eye health study in Kenya and the idea for a portable eye exam kit that was easy to use and affordable was born.

The team came up with a smartphone app that can be used to conduct comprehensive eye examinations in remote settings, with very little training. It is easy to use, portable and considerably cheaper than traditional, bulky eye examination equipment.

The app uses the phone’s camera to scan the lens of the eye for cataracts and uses the flash to illuminate the retina – back of the eye – to check for disease. A shrinking letter which appears on screen can be used as a basic vision test.

To date, Peek Vision has completed one community trial in Kenya and has two trials currently running in Mali and Botswana. As for future aspirations, Peek is focused on making more devices and developing new collaborations.