Samsung repurposes older Galaxy phones to be part of medical devices that screen for eye diseases
This is truly innovation at the grassrooots. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people have a form of vision impairment and almost half of these cases were preventable or are yet to be addressed. Affordability and availability of eye care services is a big challenge here —it is estimated to be four times more common in low- and middle-income regions as compared to high-income regions.
Samsung has devised a meaningful solution to address this. It is repurposing older smartphones to enable greater access to ophthalmic health care in underserved communities around the world. It has partnered with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) in Korea to create medical devices that screen for eye disease by upcycling Galaxy smartphones that are no longer of use. This Galaxy Upcycling programme is helping to address approximately 1 billion global cases of vision impairment that are preventable with proper diagnosis.
In 2017, Samsung created the Galaxy Upcycling programme to introduce innovative ways that Galaxy devices can make a positive impact. Through the programme, an older Galaxy smartphone can become the brain of the EYELIKE handheld fundus camera, which connects to a lens attachment for enhanced fundus diagnosis, while the smartphone is used to capture images.
The Galaxy device then utilises an Artificial Intelligence algorithm to analyse and diagnose the images for ophthalmic diseases and connects to an app that accurately captures patient data and suggests a treatment regimen at a fraction of the cost of commercial instruments. The affordable diagnosis camera can screen for conditions that may lead to blindness, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.