Samsung Electronics stated on Wednesday that it will use old Galaxy smartphones to transform them into part of eye care equipment for underserved communities around the world.
As part of the company’s Galaxy Upcycling plan, used Samsung smartphones are connected to handheld fundus cameras called Eyelike, which are made using Samsung’s own design.
Fundus cameras can take images of the back of the eyes and are often used to help assess the health of the eyes. Samsung said that Eyelike cameras are being given to health workers in low-income areas.
The camera is equipped with a lens attachment for fundus diagnosis, and the smartphone will be used to capture images of the patient’s eyes. As reported, this phone uses artificial intelligence algorithms to perform diagnoses based on images.
Then, an app will suggest appropriate treatments, the company said the device can screen for diseases that may cause blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
The South Korean tech giant added that the use of Eyelike provides a more affordable diagnostic method than other commercial instruments. The company state that several parts of the camera are also made of recyclable materials and are designed to be easy to reuse.
Samsung cooperates with the International Blindness Prevention Agency and the Yonsei University Health System Hospital in South Korea to carry out eye care programs in Vietnam, India, Morocco, and Papua New Guinea.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people worldwide suffer from some form of visual impairment. Samsung said that nearly half of these cases are preventable, but due to gaps in the availability and affordability of eye care services around the world, not all cases can be treated.
“People around the world face barriers to access to basic healthcare. We see an opportunity to design smart, innovative solutions, reuse products to promote more sustainable practices and have a positive impact on the community.
“Samsung Mobile’s Sustainability Management Vice President Kim Sung-Koo said, “This plan reflects Samsung’s belief that technology can enrich people’s lives and help us build a fairer and more sustainable future for all.”
Samsung also intends to create a smartphone-based portable colposcopy that can be used to screen for cervical cancer and improve women’s access to medical care.