In the future, your next eye exam may just happen right from a smartphone. We have previously mentioned the Portable Eye Examination Kit, or ‘Peek’; a device that could make that future a reality. The team previously worked on a suite of apps to help with examining the eye with a mobile phone and recently have turned their attention at improving the equipment used to do so. The device is a clip-on camera adapter for your phone that allows it to become a low cost ophthalmoscope and retinal camera.
‘Four out of five people who are blind, don’t need to be blind,’ states Dr Bastawrous, while explaining that many people in remote locations lack basic access to eye care that would help preserve their vision.
The group working on the project are working with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to use the device in the field and helping remote communities.
To help make the project a reality, the team have turned to crowd-sourcing to help fund the industrial design and manufacture of the device. For £60 you can choose to buy a Peek for yourself or to give one to a charitable project. Either way, you can help make the future of eye care a reality.
Crowdsourcing campaign: http://www.supportpeek.com
TED Talk: http://youtu.be/xPTmHKlH7s4
Google I/O came and went last week and one of the expected announcement came labelled “Google Fit”. This story may sound similar to our previous post outlining Apple’s Health Kit, to which comparisons will undoubtedly be made.
Google Fit will provide a an integrated platform on the Android OS for it to communicate with a variety of mHealth tracking devices. Unlike Apple, Google has not revealed a central “app” that collates all the data. Rather, it is trying to make a standard platform that would allow devices from different manufacturers to “play nice” with their apps.
Thus far, a whole host of companies have signed on to the initiative, such as Nike, Addidas and the ever popular RunKeeper.
Regardless of the approach, it is encouraging to see the world’s two biggest smartphone platforms integrating health tracking features as a key part of their OS.
WWDC is a big annual event for all things related to Apple and this year it certainly did not disappoint. We have previously covered many mHealth technologies that are paired to the now ubiquitous smartphone but after the main keynote of the event, it seems that Apple, one of the world’s biggest consumer electronics companies, is ready to throw it’s weight behind mHealth as well.
We previously reported the rumours in February where it was suggested that Apple was incorporating Health related features into iOS. Now, the announcement is official with news of HealthKit. The software platform will be built right into iOS, allowing it to “know” the type of data being shared by different sensor hardware. This should shift the brunt of the user side software development work form device manufacturers, allowing them more resources to produce innovate mHealth hardware.
Not to be outdone, rumours have also started emerging of a similar platform being developed by Google for its Android platform. Rumoured to be dubbed “Google Fit”, the still unannounced platform is expected to be revealed at Google’s developer event, I/O which starts later this month on June 25th.
The wave of activity from the major players in the smartphone industry to back mHealth initiatives may be the beginning of another mHealth revolution. This time, it looks like population at large will be the main beneficiary.
News article by Dr Raffy Halim
– Apple: https://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/health/
– Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/13/google-launching-google-fit-health-platform/