Quiz by: caro1006
I'm going to tell you about one of the world's
largest problems and how it can be solved.
I'd like to start with a little experiment. Could you
put your hand up if you wear glasses or contact
lenses, or you've had laser refractive surgery? Now,
unfortunately, there are too many of you for me to do
the statistics properly. But it looks like -- I'm
guessing -- that it'll be about 60 percent of the
room because that's roughly the fraction of developed
world population that have some sort of vision
The World Health Organization estimates -- well, they
make various estimates of the number of people who
need glasses -- the lowest estimate is 150 million
people. They also have an estimate of around a
billion. But in fact, I would argue that we've just
done an experiment here and now, which shows us that
the global need for corrective eyewear is around half
of any population. And the problem of poor vision, is
actually not just a health problem, it's also an
educational problem, and it's an economic problem,
and it's a quality of life problem.
Glasses are not very expensive. They're quite
plentiful. The problem is, there aren't enough eye
care professionals in the world to use the model of
the delivery of corrective eyewear that we have in
the developed world. There are just way too few eye
So this little slide here shows you an optometrist
and the little blue person represents about 10,000
people and that's the ratio in the U.K. This is the
ratio of optometrists to people in sub-Saharan
Africa. In fact, there are some countries in sub-
Saharan Africa where there's one optometrist for
eight million of the population.
How do you do this? How do you solve this problem? I
came up with a solution to this problem, and I came
up with a solution based on adaptive optics for this.
And the idea is you make eye glasses, and you adjust
them yourself and that solves the problem.
What I want to do is to show you that one can make a
pair of glasses. I shall just show you how you make a
pair of glasses. I shall pop this in my pocket. I'm
short sighted. I look at the signs at the end, I can
hardly see them. So -- okay, I can now see that man
running out there, and I can see that guy running out
there. I've now made prescription eyewear to my
prescription. Next step in my process. So, I've now
made eye glasses to my prescription. Okay, so I've
made these glasses and ... Okay, I've made the
glasses to my prescription and ... ... I've just ...
And I've now made some glasses. That's it.
Now, these aren't the only pair in the world. In
fact, this technology's been evolving. I started
working on it in 1985, and it's been evolving very
slowly. There are about 30,000 in use now. And
they're in fifteen countries. They're spread around
And I have a vision, which I'll share with you. I
have a global vision for vision. And that vision is
to try to get a billion people wearing the glasses
they need by the year 2020. To do that -- this is an
early example of the technology. The technology is
being further developed -- the cost has to be brought
down. This pair, in fact, these currently cost about
19 dollars. But the cost has to be brought right
down. It has to be brought down because we're trying
to serve populations who live on a dollar a day.
How do you solve this problem? You start to get into
detail. And on this slide, I'm basically explaining
all the problems you have. How do you distribute? How
do you work out how to fit the thing? How do you have
people realizing that they have a vision problem? How
do you deal with the industry? And the answer to that
What we've done is to set up the Center for Vision in
the Developing World here in the university. If you
want to know more, just come have a look at our
website. Thank you.
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