Eye App Could Improve Anaemia

A new eye app invented by two Australian students could be put to use in rural areas as well as developing countries to help prevent anaemia.

The app, invented by 22-year-olds Jarrel Seah and Jennifer Tang, has earned the students a prize of US$50,000 and a meeting with Bill Gates after it won awards in Microsoft’s global student technology competition, GeekWire reported.

Called Eyenaemia, the app can be used for screening for anaemia – a deficiency of healthy red blood cells – by taking a picture of the eye. An estimated 2 billion people worldwide are affected by anaemia, including a large number of children.

Screening is normally limited to the medical profession, however now untrained users can use the app to analyse a photo of their eye and calculate their risk of the condition. The results can then be sent to doctors.

The med students from Melbourne’s Monash University pitched the innovative app, which could potentially save lives, as a screen for anaemia that is as simple as ‘taking a selfie.’

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Tang said that the pair hoped the app would help people to detect the condition early on and so help prevent it. She added: “We’re both very interested in technology and how it can improve health.”

Tang and Seah are currently conducting further research into the technology at two Australian hospitals and they intend to partner with different organisations in the country to roll the product out across rural and remote areas and, in future, worldwide.

Seah told the newspaper: “We basically want the app to be accessible to developing countries and rural areas of Australia so we can reach out those who are more disadvantaged.” He added that they hope to make the app available free of charge in such areas.


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