Around the world, a staggering one billion people suffer from some form of preventable or treatable vision impairment. This ranges from moderate and severe vision impairment to blindness, with the leading cause being uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts. A lack of access to necessary medical equipment and professionals means that visual impairment is four times higher in in low- and middle-income countries compared to high-income regions.

To help address this, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Expo Live programme has selected New Zealand-based oDocs Eye Care as one of its Global Innovators. Founded by Dr Hong Sheng Chiong and Dr Ben O’Keeffe, oDocs Eye Care has created affordable and accessible retinal imaging systems that are easier to produce than traditional devices. These include the ‘oDocs nun’, a smartphone-adaptable and 3D-printable ophthalmoscope that costs about 20 times less to make than a standard ophthalmoscope. To expand the accessibility of eye examinations, the founders have made this innovation open-source, removing patent barriers.

Through the exposure of Expo Live, oDocs Eye Care hopes to expand its reach and reduce the number of people living with preventable vision impairment. It also aims to create a platform where researchers and clinicians can work together to develop artificial-intelligence solutions for clinical and diagnostical purposes.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Innovation Series is a weekly blog series highlighting some of the creative and world-changing innovations that are being showcased via Expo 2020 Dubai’s programmes and pavilions.

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