At Sony Mobile we aim to continually invest within our communities, using our technology, products and know-how to make a difference around the world.
Sony Mobile’s ongoing collaboration with Peek Vision is just one of these investments, one that is set on bringing professional eye care and examinations to remote areas that didn’t have access before.
With the Peek Vision eye examination app, adapter, and our XperiaTM smartphones, Peek Vision is able to replace the heavy, bulky eye examination equipment that’s usually required for eye examinations.
This process means that those living in remote places are able to get help for the first time, an event that can be life changing, considering 80% of blindness is avoidable if diagnosed and treated early on.
We introduced Sony Mobile’s collaboration with Peek Vision last year, and since then Peek has been working actively to reach out to more people in need. In February 2015, Peek Vision started their Kenya Schools programme trial, an initiative that saw 25 trained teachers examine over 20,000 children in the Kiyale area of Kenya using XperiaTM M2 Aqua smartphones fitted with Peek’s visual acuity software.
900 of those tested across 50 local schools were found with visual impairments, many of whomwere unaware they had poor eyesight or needed vision correction. If detected early on, treating poor vision can be as simple as wearing spectacles or undergoing surgery – emphasising how important an early diagnosis can really be.
Dr. Andrew Bastrawous, Ophthalmologist and research lead, Peek Vision shares his story from within the collaboration:
“The sun is beating down hard, children can be heard counting in perfect unison in a concrete class room across the field. The headmaster opens his door, a jovial man with a huge trophy on his desk. The trophy is for his school’s academic performance and he is keen to laden his office with more. We are introduced to Mr Kadiri, the school’s English teacher. He corrects us, “I’m a teacher of English, not an English teacher”. We instantly warm to one another. Dr Rono explains what we are doing and how using Peek he could become a screener for vision problems in the school. Not familiar with smartphones we go through how to interact with a touchscreen and how to use the Peek app.
In no time at all, he is bringing children to the back of the class and perfectly testing their vision in what takes only seconds per child. Three of the class are found to have a problem with their vision and so he logs some further details on them, including their parents name and contact number.
In an instant the hospital has received a referral for all three children and they are queued and expected in the hospital eye clinic for review. The children’s parents have received a text message in their own language explaining the need to go for an eye assessment with Dr Rono. One of these children, Justace hadn’t been aware that he couldn’t see very well. His performance in class had been declining over the last two years but it hadn’t occurred to him or his teacher that it was due to poor sight.
One week later, Justace and his mother attend the eye clinic and to their surprise they find that the problem is both simple and correctable. After a detailed eye examination, Justace is fitted with a pair of glasses. The smile on his face tells the story – he starts pointing out details and small words in the distance. The eye chart is now a formality as he races through the letters all the way to the bottom.
We pass by the school a week later, Justace is no longer sat at the front squinting and avoiding the gaze of his teacher, he is sat at the back of the class, proudly wearing his specs, his hand is raised eager to show his teacher, the same teacher of English who found out he had a vision problem, that not only can he see the blackboard but also that he knows the answer to his question.”