A high profile ceremony in New York City was held on Thursday, January 26th, where the eleven finalists exhibited their ideas and products. During this event, Edward De Bono presented his ‘Medal for Thinking’ to Ophthalmos Ltd for its Optyse™ ophthalmoscope, recognising the simplicity, practicality, effectiveness, and application of the new device.
The global award is presented biennially and recognises innovations that have the potential to change the world.
Laura Garcia, CEO, Ophthalmos commented: “I was thrilled to accept this award on behalf of Roger Armour, inventor of the Optyse™, and Ophthalmos. It is an honour to have our product acknowledged by such a pioneer in the field of lateral thinking. This award also recognises the expertise of our design partner, Team Consulting Ltd. Team’s experience in the field and involvement in the project was crucial in the successful delivery of an end product which reflected Roger’s initial concept and vision.”
Roger Armour conceived the idea for the ophthalmoscope in 2000. Team Consulting then worked with Mr Armour to develop his idea into a prototype product which was the overall winner, and winner of ‘Best Innovation to Improve Global Healthcare’, at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards 2003. Ophthalmos Ltd has since been established to focus on bringing the device to manufacture and market, with Team Consulting continuing their role as design partners.
An estimated 37 million people are blind worldwide, 75 per cent of this blindness is treatable or preventable and these figures are increasing at a rate of 1 – 2 million each year*. Recognising the need to make retinal screening a viable, simple and cost effective diagnostic aid, Ophthalmos developed the Optyse™ for use in developing countries, as well as for use in a range of healthcare settings in developed countries.
Direct fundoscopy is an effective, non-invasive technique enabling medical practitioners to view the retina and identify abnormalities indicative of serious sight threatening conditions like cataracts and diabetic retinopathies, as well as life threatening medical conditions such as brain tumours, hypertension and cerebral malaria. The Optyse™ is the result of five years extensive research and development. It eliminates the complexities, obstacles and costs that often prove a barrier in the use of standard ophthalmoscopes by healthcare workers outside the areas of ophthalmology and optometry.
* Statistics sourced by VISION 2020 (www.v2020.org/right_to_sight/index.asp)