oDocs Eye Care Revolutionize Eye Health With Affordable Smartphone Technology

oDocs Eye Care Revolutionize Eye Health With Affordable Smartphone Technology
Visual impairment and blindness is a global problem with about 300 million people estimated to suffer with this disability around the world. Although visual impairment has decreased the last twenty years, there are huge inequalities in eye health. About 90% of the people with visual impairment live in developing countries, and major barriers include poverty and distance to providers. Developing solutions that specifically tackle this could significantly lower the unequal access to eye health services and help millions globally.

The New Zealand-based startup oDocs Eye Care is determined to revolutionize eye health, and focuses on developing affordable smartphone based technology for primary eye care. Their two products, the oDocs visioClip and oDocs visioScope easily transform your smartphone into an anterior segment and retinal camera. The visioClip is an adapter that examines the front of the eye and can be used to diagnose diseases like conjunctivitis and corneal infections. The $225 USD adapter offer the same magnification as a slit lamp microscope worth $15,000. The visioScope adapter is an alternative to an ophthalmoscope and retinal camera, and helps identify common conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.

The startup has also developed an accompanying mobile app featuring electronic medical records, a wide range of vision tests and the ability to store and acquire images. Using the app, medical workers can assess color vision, astigmatism, visual acuity and relative pupillary light reflex, making the diagnostic process much simpler.

The innovative adaptors dramatically decrease cost of a professional eye examination. This is particularly significant in developing countries that have struggled with both high costs and low accessibility of eye health services. The portable nature mean that medical workers can take it with them when visiting bed-bound patients or doing a medical field trip. 80% of global visual impairments are according to the WHO preventable, and many of these cases are unfortunately found in the developing world. The low-cost, easy-to-use adaptors by oDocs clip into place in seconds, giving hope of early detection and prevention of eye diseases to millions around the world. And maybe most inspiring, part of the startup’s net profits will go towards preventing blindness in developing nations, distributing products for areas that need them.

Earlier this year, oDocs presented their eye-care solution at the Talent Unleashed and won the award for best social impact startup. Previously they have also won the Health Informatics New Zealand Clinicians’ Challenge and the New Zealand Innovators Awards 2015 People’s Choice Award. The platform has already reached people all over the world, both in developed and developing countries, and the startup is now looking to raise a $500,000 seed round to prepare shipping of its products.