Samsung is upcycling older Galaxy series smartphones to help underprivileged communities around the world gain access to better eyecare in their Galaxy Upcycling programme.
In collaboration with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Yonsei University Health System (YUHS), in Korea, Samsung is creating medical devices that use Galaxy smartphones that are no longer in use to create medical devices that help screen for eye disease.
“People around the globe face barriers to accessing fundamental health care, and we saw an opportunity to engineer smart, innovative solutions that reuse products to drive more sustainable practices and make a positive impact in our communities,” said Sung-Koo Kim, VP of Sustainability Management Office, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.
“This programme embodies Samsung’s belief that technology can enrich people’s lives and help us build a more equitable and sustainable future for all.”
Samsung Galaxy Upcycling and the EYELIKE fundus camera
A Galaxy series smartphone, even an older one remains a remarkably sophisticated piece of hardware indeed with excellent cameras which is why they are ideal to become part of the EYELIKE fundus camera to capture images of a patient’s eye.
The powerful processor that is the core of a Galaxy series phone is able to use an AI algorithm to diagnose images for ophthalmic diseases and then connect to an app which is able to capture patient data and subsequently suggest a diagnosis – all at a fraction of the cost of commercial instruments.
To date, this collaboration between Samsung, IAPB and YUHS as part of the Galaxy Upcycling campaign has benefitted the lives of more than 19,000 people in Vietnam. In 2019, this powerful team-up saw 90 portable ophthalmoscopes supplied to health professionals in remote regions of Vietnam without access to walk-in clinics. THe programme is being expanded to India, Morocco and Papua New Guinea.
“We were looking for an eye health diagnosis solution that was cost-effective to reach as many people as possible, and when we saw the performance of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, we wanted to integrate their upcycling efforts into our research,” said Dr. Sangchul Yoon of Yonsei University Health System.
“The combination of using multiple optical technologies and artificial intelligence, coupled with camera performance of a Galaxy smartphone, created an affordable medical device that was just as capable as a fundus camera used by medical professionals. This not only solved a health issue, but a growing environmental concern as well,” adds Dr. Yoon.
“As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more evident than ever that technology can be deployed as an eye health solution. In the countries where the EYELIKE Platform is trialled, difficult terrain, long distances and remote populations all contribute to the need for technology to help us connect and improve access to care,” said Drew Keys, Western Pacific Region (WPR) Coordinator at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
“IAPB is very pleased that Samsung is working closely with its member organisations to pilot these solutions. Working with Samsung allows our member organisations to deliver technology in pilot countries and build cooperative and constructive relationships in these regions,” adds Keys. For more on Samsung’s initiatives to create a better world, check out their official page at http://news.samsung.com