Expo 2020 Dubai-funded eye care inventor opens branch in Borneo

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A New Zealand company which invented a smartphone-based camera which can help in the diagnosis of eyesight problems, has used funding it was awarded by Expo 2020 Dubai to set up a new branch in Borneo, it was reported on Monday.

New Zealand eye care technology company oDocs Eye Care plans to use the new branch in Sarawak, on the Asian island of Borneo, to help improve the eyesight of rural Malaysians.

« The trip was partly funded by the Dubai World Expo 2020 innovation grant of $US100,000 which we won at the end of 2019, » Dr Hong Sheng Chiong, chief executive of oDocs Eye Care, was quoted as saying in a report by the Voxy website.

The oDocs team has developed an innovative retinal camera that can capture the image of the eye and is compatible with a smartphone. It is also more affordable, costing about a fifth of conventional retinal cameras.

« There is a social stigma about being blind or visually impaired in Sarawak and prejudice against the blind… Visual impairment and blindness is a global problem, with at least 2.2 billion people suffering from this disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. About 80 percent of cases are preventable or treatable, » Dr Hong added.

Expo Live is the Dubai event’s innovation and partnership programme, which aims to promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving our world.

According to the official Expo 2020 Dubai website, “with an allocation of $100 million, Expo Live will harness the convening power of a World Expo to demonstrate how innovations coming from all places and people can advance the pace of progress and inspire a more inclusive and prosperous future”.

Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 and it is estimated the event will attract 25 million visits, with around 70 percent coming from overseas.