BCPB were seed funders for this project in 2012. This work is based on the principle of apps and hardware which enables eye checks to be conducted in community settings such as schools and homes. The data generated from these eye checks ensure patients are then linked to appropriate treatments and that resources and allocated efficiently. Due to this being an app based solution to eye screening and the fact that it can be used on a mobile phone, even the most rural settings can be accessed as seen in this video on Peek and its work. Since our funding Peek Vision continues to go from strength to strength.
Our grantee Dr Andrew Bastawrous, CEO and co-Founder of Peek Vision, and Associate Professor of International Eye Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, writes: “We are seeing the transformative power of health systems change through collaboration, technology and good data – and people are finally accessing eye health services that were previously out of reach. But the number of people with avoidable blindness and vision loss is set to triple in the next 30 years. More than ever, we need to be ambitious with our goals and courageous in our efforts to meet them.”
Since launching as an independent organisation in 2016, Peek Vision has been focused on refining and testing its technology in preparation for wider rollout in the coming years. Working with partners including international disability NGO CBM and the Governments of Botswana and Kenya, one of the 30-strong team’s main activities has been testing the use of the technology in school vision screening.
The Peek school eye health system is an integrated smartphone screening system which includes the Peek Acuity vision check app, a simulation tool showing a visual comparison of the child’s sight to clear vision (which can be printed on a postcard for parents and carers to remind them that their child needs treatment), and text message reminders to parents in the local language.
In a landmark study for Peek, published in The Lancet Global Health in 2018 and featured on the BBC, the Peek school eye health system more than doubled the proportion of children attending follow-up appointments compared to conventional eye health screening.
The study, led by the International Centre for Eye Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, was carried out in a partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health among more than 20,000 children in 50 schools in Trans Nzoia County, Kenya. Following this work, the Peek team in Kenya went on to screen 200,000 children in Trans Nzoia county where they are based, with 4,000 being referred for further treatment.
By the end of 2018 over a quarter of a million children and adults have been screened for eye health problems and referred for further treatment as part of programmes run by Peek with its partners. The Government of Botswana’s national comprehensive school eye health programme also begin a national rollout using Peek systems in 2019, a world first.
Peek Vision now has offices in eight countries and members of the team are based all over the world. Their standalone products Peek Acuity and Peek Retina are used in over 150 countries worldwide.
More information on Peek can be found at Peek Vision