Samsung introduced the Galaxy Upcycling program back in 2017 to reuse old Galaxy devices in innovative ways. Now, to help the ophthalmic health care communities in low and middle-income regions of the world, the Korean giant has introduced a new initiative. Samsung is now repurposing older Galaxy smartphones to develop affordable eye care tools.
The announcement comes via an official blog post from the company. In the post, Samsung says that around 2.2 billion people around the world have some form of vision impairment. Unfortunately, more than half of the cases were preventable only if the patients had affordable and reliable eye-care tools and services.
Turning Old Samsung Galaxy Phones into Affordable Eye Care Tools
So now, Samsung is using older Galaxy devices along with its new handheld Eyelike Fundus Camera, which was showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference back in 2019, to create an affordable eye-care diagnosis tool. The result is a portable eye-diagnosis device that can detect several ophthalmic conditions that could lead to blindness.
Now, the way this Samsung device works is pretty simple. The compact Eyelike Fundus Camera connects to an older Galaxy device using a lens attachment. The smartphone then acts as the “brain” of the device and the Fundus Camera captures the images of the patients’ eyes.
The captured images are then sent to an app on the smartphone that uses artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to analyze the images for ophthalmic diseases. Following the detection of any vision-related disease, the app even provides a treatment regimen for the patients. And all of this comes “at a fraction of the cost of commercial instruments,” thanks to repurposed Galaxy phones.
“This program embodies Samsung’s belief that technology can enrich people’s lives and help us build a more equitable and sustainable future for all,” said Sung-Koo, the VP of Sustainability Management Office at Samsung.
Samsung states that it partnered with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) to help more than 19,000 Vietnamese residents with its portable retinal camera. Now, with the introduction of the new Eyelike Fundus Camera, the company has announced to expand its Galaxy Upcycling program to more countries like India, Morocco, and Papua New Guinea.