A Scottish institution renowned worldwide for innovation has won a prestigious award for developing a smartphone retinal adapter which could eliminate 80% of the world’s blindness.
Strathclyde University’s latest offering has the potential to transform the lives of people in some of the poorest countries.
Peek, the portable eye examination kit, received the INDEX: Award 2015 design prize of €100,000 for the design of the affordable smartphone adapter, Peek Retina, enabling professional eye examinations anywhere in the world.
The INDEX: Award Jury selected Peek because the portable, user-friendly, low-cost design solution is one significant step towards achieving the 66th World Health Assembly Action Plan, which aims to achieve a global reduction of avoidable visual impairments of 25% by 2019.
The Peek Retina adapter is being developed through a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, where Dr Mario Giardini heads the engineering design; the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; and the Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Dr Giardini, based in the University of Strathclyde’s world-renowned Faculty of Engineering, said: “Winning the INDEX award is a fantastic achievement for the team and provides us with the platform to further develop the adaptor and fulfill its full potential.
“Peek Retina will make a massive impact in low-income countries and demonstrates the impact quality research can have in tackling the global problems faced in society today.”
Kigge Hvid, CEO of the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organisation, who founded the prize 10 years ago, said: “The jury found five winners who all brilliantly illustrate how design can be a decisive factor when addressing the world’s most pressing challenges like pollution, health issues, climate change, over population, poverty, food waste, and many more equally important.
“Peek Retina is a perfect example of this and promotes exactly the purpose of INDEX: Award.”
If all people with eye/vision problems had immediate access to diagnosis and prompt care, 80% of the world’s blindness could be eliminated. The problem is partly caused by the inability to transport expensive, fragile equipment to remote areas, where no facilities exist, to perform eye exams.
The Peek Retina adapter will enable healthcare workers to perform quick and easy eye exams anywhere in the world, without expensive equipment or complex operational requirements.
The winners of INDEX: Award 2015 were unveiled at a spectacular award ceremony in Elsinore, Denmark, under the attendance of HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark, along with a global audience of 1,200 of some of the greatest minds within design.
The nominations for INDEX: Award are all designs that vastly improve people’s lives all over the world, and this year INDEX received 1,123 nominations from 72 countries. The award is split into five categories: Body, Home, Work, Play & Learning and Community. Peek won the Body category