[First posted on Dec 2018, see update below]
Eyesight is most important thing for a well productive life and it is estimated that 2.5 Billion people have poor vision. They do not have access to eye testing & cannot afford glasses to correct their vision. These are from mostly undeveloped and developing nations and in one study of tea pickers: funded by a Clearly (a charity focused on this problem), it is found that their productivity went up by 39% just by wearing glasses. Globally it is estimated the adult productivity loss because of poor eyesight is around $227 Billion!
By having a good eyesight, the people can have very fulfilling lives, in terms of education, job, growth & social life. It is sad because, it is not like we do not know what could cure their vision. The solution is invented 700 years ago! But why is this problem still there?
Anyone who bought glasses know how ridiculously priced they are. No doubt the companies have a make profits and cool designs have to be paid for but 2, 3, 400 hundreds of dollars for a plastic frame and lenses!? (I do not want to go on this rant). Of course there are lot cheap options too but we need to bring them to couple of dollars to be able to affordable in poor countries. We also need better, economical ideas, tools & training (of eye testers) that can be easily deployed at a large scale.
For example, a few back of the envelope ideas:
- Imagine a non-profit that collects all of the used glasses, refurbishes and distributes them
- A simplified testing method & a testing kit (imagine a kit similar to Google Cardboard, or a smart phone kit, like PEEK), that a local kid in town can be trained easily, who in turn can go around town doing the testing
- Design a few frames and make them open source. Then, mass print the frames using a 3D printer
Sounds like we have some wonderful challenges for our Pieneers. Good luck to all the Pieneers!
As always, know of anyone or any startup working on this, please let me know, I will update this post.
Update (Sep 2, 2022)- As the #WorldSightDay is coming up on Oct 13, 2022, I thought it is important to talk about this #ProWoSo
[Image Credit: Thanks to cocoparisienne via Pixabay]