About 39 million people around the world are blind, but for the vast majority of these people, blindness was avoidable. They lost their sight as a result of curable and preventable diseases but live in areas where it is difficult to get access to optical care.  

Andrew Bastawrous, a Kenya-based ophthalmologist and eye health researcher, wanted to find a way to bring eye exams to people living in remote areas. But he found it difficult to bring the bulky expensive equipment to those who needed it most. When he realized that more people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to a mobile phone than clean, running water, he realized that the power of smartphones might be able to replace the traditional expensive and hard-to-transport eye exam equipment.

In this TED talk, Bastawrous walks us through the technology that has been developed to bring eye exams to the people and locations that need them most. It absolutely blows my mind that this thing I keep in my pocket and use to Google movie times and weather forecasts can also be used to save the sight of someone in a remote village in Africa. Check it out:

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Will your next eye exam be on a smartphone?
Researchers harness the power of mobile phones to bring eye exams to the people who need them most.