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New online tool informs technology choices

Published: 20.02.2023
Man getting his eyes screened on portable device in Uganda

IAPB and the Technology Taskforce have launched the IAPB Eye Health for Technology Guide.  The guide is designed to help the eye health sector evaluate and choose appropriate eye care technologies that will improve and enable the scale up of eye care service delivery. 

“The Guide is an interactive online resource, accessible from any device. It acts as an ongoing reference as you consider implementing technology in your eye care programmes, services and health systems – ensuring you consider key factors that will help you meet your objectives,” explained Jude Stern, Head of Knowledge at IAPB. 

Innovative technology in eye care has the potential to transform the way services are delivered, enabling the reach of more people, improving the quality care, empowering individuals to seek services when needed, and create new solutions to the most complex problems.  The pandemic has changed the way eye care is delivered in many settings, with an increased uptake of technologies that facilitate remote consultations, home monitoring and the reduction of time that people need to attend a clinic. 

However, despite the existence of many effective technologies, the successful use of the technology is about more than just an innovative or efficient tool. This is particularly true in low resource settings. The local context, operating environment and integration into an eye care or health system, are critical to technology being able to deliver the intended outcomes and benefits.  

The Guide addresses a gap in understanding between stakeholders and implementation of new technologies.  

Dr Shivang R Dave, PlenOptika and Technology Taskforce Member stated “It is fantastic to see this guide released into the sector. Innovative technologies and health delivery models have a critical role in cost-effectively scaling up eye health programs to drive sustainable real-world impact. Use the IAPB Eye Health Technology Guide to develop high impact, high-quality initiatives.” 

Woman checking the IAPB technology guide on phone
Woman using the IAPB Eye Health Technology Guide on her laptop and phone

The IAPB Eye Health Technology Guide will help individuals and organisations to understand:  

  • Established eye health technologies 
  • Factors that drive access to services 
  • The stage of development of an emerging technology 
  • Whether a technology will be appropriate in your setting 
  • How to appropriately introduce new technology into your eye health programs. 

“The guide can also help you consider key factors around technology, such as local suitability, efficacy, policy, accessibility and economic sustainability,” added Jude Stern. 

For those who lack the technical expertise to make informed decisions about innovations for eye health or separate hype from reality, the IAPB Eye Health Technology Guide encourages individuals to ask questions like: 

  • What evidence is available that the product does what it claims?
  • Has the technology been used in a similar setting? 
  • What are the work and costs involved in implementation and ongoing service delivery? 
  • Is the technology at an appropriate level of development for the intended purpose? 

We invite you to explore the guide for free at this link. 

We thank the following members of the IAPB Technology Taskforce for sharing their expertise and experience to help develop this framework: 

  • Dr Shivang R Dave, PlenOptika 
  • Amanda Davis, IAPB Western Pacific Chair, The Fred Hollows Foundation 
  • Rathinam Thyagarajan, LV Prasad Eye Institute 
  • Prof Andrew Bastawrous, Peek Vision & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 
  • Stephane Wolf, Novartis 
  • Dr Aaron Magava, IAPB Africa Chair 
  • Dr Nor Fariza Ngah, Ministry of Health, Malaysia 
  • Dr Suzanne Gilbert, IAPB North America Chair, Seva Foundation 
  • Dr Petri Huhtinen, Optomed 
  • Dr Kunal Parikh, Johns Hopkins University 
  • Dr Daniel Ting, Singapore National Eye Centre 
  • Michael Morton, IAPB 
  • Jude Stern, IAPB. 

Image on top: Man getting his eyes screened on portable device in Uganda/Terry Cooper

Photo Credits

Image courtesy of the Clinton Health Access Initiative South Africa.