Korean Startups Innovate with Braille Technology & Diagnostic Tools

“이것은 사실 나의 연애에 대한 이야기다.”

국제실명예방기구 (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness: IAPB)에 기고 했던, 실명예방과 시각장애인의 삶의 질을 개선하는 것을 미션으로 하는 국내 스타터업들에 대한 글이 게시되었다… 우리 LabSD와 함께 소개된 Ovitz, Braillist, Dot 모두 KOICA CTS Program의 지원을 받고 있는 기업들…

 


Korean Startups innovate with braille technology & diagnostic tools

CEO, LabSD

At the end of the May 2018, Drew Keys, the Regional Program Manager of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Western Pacific region visited South Korea to facilitate the organization’s collaboration and cooperation with its partners in the country.  Amongst the various activities he took part in, was a special session on innovation and technology.

The event was hosted by LabSD (Laboratory for Sustainable Development), which is a spin-off social venture of an IAPB member organisation, Project BOM (also known as the Ophthalmology Department of Yonsei University College of Medicine). It was attended by leading social venture firms in the country dedicated to eye health and disability such as LabSD, Ovitsz and others interested in maximizing collaboration specifically through the IAPB Standard List.

All these social ventures are currently supported by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a government agency of Republic of Korea responsible for the country’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through its Creative Technology Solution (CTS) Programme. The CTS Programme invites innovative ideas and technologies from entrepreneurs and start-ups, reinterprets the context of ODA, and finally applies them to various development challenges, to where conventional means has struggled to provide effective solutions. At the moment, these companies are implementing health and education projects while introducing their products in Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Colombia, and Kenya. ​

The innovative solutions that these companies demonstrated are as follows:

 

LabSD’s EYELIKE Platform

LabSD’s comprehensive community eye health solution, EYELIKE Platform, allows health professionals with minimum training to conduct screenings of international standard for the diagnosis of eye diseases such as diabetes retinopathy, glaucoma, or AMD with considerably reduced time and cost, while sharing the information with the entire referral system.

The platform is composed of three major parts:

i) a portable, easy to use, non-mydriatic retinal camera within an affordable price range attached to smartphones;

ii) Artificial Intelligence based Clinical Decision Supporting System (CDSS) for blindness-causing eye diseases; and;

iii) Android Application along with web-based dashboard for the collection, analysis, and visualisation of the disease information.

The platform enables effective and efficient management of resources through task-shifting, re-assigning some tasks of ophthalmologists to other health practitioners at the community level in low resource settings.

 

Ovitz P-10

Ovitz has developed an enhanced, cost-effective, portable Wavefront autorefractor, P-10, that can be easily used to measure another leading cause of blindness, refractive error, more quickly, precisely, and accurately both in the office and in the field. Ovitz aims to offer easy and timely access to an affordable visual acuity test to anyone anywhere in the world. It has conducted 6 clinical tests worldwide and is registered with US FDA.

 

Braillist

Braillist developed a device that supports vision impaired persons to use smartphones more independently and conveniently -improving productivity and quality of life. The company will also be introducing a compact electronic braille dictionary for the visually impaired to make learning braille easier and faster. The dictionary is aimed at decreasing the illiteracy (in Braille) rate among blind people in the globe, which is more than 90% at the moment.

 

Dot

Dot also strives to pioneer for accessible and affordable innovations for the visually impaired through providing devices for education and training. The company developed a state-of-the-art, innovative, braille cell that is 1/20 size and 1/10 cost compared to existing piezo-electric cells that have long been considered as the standards in the braille device market. As an electro-magnetic actuator, the Dot cell is able to bring revolutionary changes, first starting with the world’s first braille smartwatch, the Dot Watch. Another product, Dot Mini, supports the education and training with its braille display and a built speaker. It will give students the chance to be free from carrying around bulky and heavy braille books to the school, not to mention increase access to leaning materials in resource limited conditions.

There is increasing drive in Korea to meet global challenges, and KOICA is definitely on a mission to solve such problems while targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its multi-dimensional approaches. It not only values its activities as Official Development Assistant Agency, but also embraces innovative technologies to tackle the problems more effectively and efficiently by supporting these tech based social ventures. Hopefully, through KOICA’s CTS programme and its portfolio social ventures, more innovative and appropriate technology for the prevention of blindness and betterment of quality of life for the people who are irrecoverably blind can be introduced, nurtured, and cultivated.

그리고, 그날의 기록들…

간담회의 장소는 용산구 창업지원센터에서 제공해주는 LabSD 오피스 옆 강의실을 빌려 진행해보았다…

(;*´Д`)ノ  땡큐!!! 용산구청!!!

Drew가 우리회사 옷을 입고 있는 것은 점식식사 중 간장을 쏟아서…

브레일리스트의 안재우 대표님… 브레일리스트의 제품은 이미 높은 완성도를 갖추고 있으며, 스마트폰에 디스플레이되는 문자형식 메세지를 음성화 시켜주거나, 스마트폰을 위한 입력장치로서 활용된다… 아이러니하게도 기술이 발달하여 스마트폰이 세상에 나오고 터치스크린이 보편화 되면서 시각장애인들 입장에서는 정보를 전화에 입력하는 것이 더 힘들어졌으니까…  시각장애인들에게 꼭 필요한 기능을 제공한다…

( д)a  모이야,  근데 손이 왜 그래???

닷의 최아름 팀장… 언제나 마켓팅을 너무 잘하셔서 부럽…

음… 아무리 생각해봐도 우리가 이렇게 심각했던적은 없는 거 같은데…

닷워치 제품설명을 듣고 있는 모이와 Drew… 닷워치도 닷워치지만 내가 정말 기대하고 있는 제품은 닷미니… 닷미니는 일종의 점자를 표현해주는 아이패드 같은 제품인데, 일반적인 점자 서적의 가격과 부피를 고려했을 때 점자책들을 전자문서화 했을 시, 시각장애인들을 대상으로하는 교육사업이나 정보전달에 획기적인 제품이 될 듯하다…

겁먹지 말아요, Drew… Ovitz의 휴대용 ARK… 중저소득국가의 굴절이상환자들의 진단을 위한 기기… 굴절이상의 경우 특히 취학연령의 어린학생들을 대상으로 학교를 기반으로 진행되는 사업들이 많고, 이 때 이루어지는 교정이 아동들의 교육성취도에 지대한 영향을 주기 때문에 이와 같은 저가의 휴대용 ARK를 활용하는 것은 꽤나 의미있을 수 있다…

기사의 원문을 보고싶으신 분들은 여기를 클릭!!

 

끗…