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Dr. Andrew Bastawrous, CEO/co-founder of Peek, spoke to the KAUST community about life as an eye surgeon, public health doctor and researcher during his recent Enrichment in the Fall keynote lecture. Photos by Asharaf Kannearil.
“The majority of people who are blind worldwide don’t need to be. Four in every five people who are blind are blind from a condition for which there is already a cure or a preventative treatment,” Bastawrous said.
In Kenya, Bastawrous realised it would be impossible for him to deal with the number of patients needing eye care, so he decided to turn his smartphone into a mobile eye clinic instead. This portable eye clinic eventually became Peek Acuity and Peek Retina, a pioneering low-cost mobile ophthalmic tool with the goal of preventing and treating vision loss. Peek uses the high-resolution screen of a smartphone to detect visual impairment and uses hardware clip-ons to modify the optics of the high-definition camera to make it possible to image inside the eye.