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Using innovation to tackle avoidable blindness

A day in the life of an eye doctor

The Seeing is Believing Innovation Fund promotes and develops pioneering solutions to tackle blindness. In 2013, we committed $1 million to fund nine innovative projects across the world. In 2016, we will launch the second phase of the Innovation Fund with five of the original projects receiving a further $1 million to help expand their reach, along with some new projects.

One of these projects is the Portable Eye Examination Kit (PEEK), a mobile application to give eye tests to people living in remote areas. PEEK can carry out eye tests such as visual acuity, colour vision and retinal imaging. It was designed by a team of eye doctors, engineers, business experts and software developers.

Giving eye-care to more children

Launched in Kenya in 2014, 50 teachers were trained to use PEEK. Through the support we provided to the PEEK team in 2015, more than 20,000 children were screened from 50 schools in less than two weeks for sight problems using both PEEK and traditional eye examinations.

What next?

During the next phase, PEEK will expand to cover the whole of Kenya, including over 300,000 children across 350 schools. It will also expand to India where refractive error is one of the main causes of avoidable blindness. This project in India plans to build on its success in Kenya and train teachers to screen children in schools.