Dr Hillary Rono, Kenya country director at Peek Vision, has been awarded the 2022 Ruskell Medal by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, a UK-based organisation dedicated to the cause of better eye health.
The Ruskell medal is a prestigious award for high-quality scientific research in ophthalmology or vision science. It is awarded to the lead author of a scientific publication judged to have made a significant contribution to the advancement of understanding of vision and the prevention of unnecessary blindness.
For the first time in its history, the Ruskell Medal has this year been awarded to an ophthalmologist working in Africa in the field of public health. Dr Rono’s winning research article assessed the effectiveness of Peek’s smartphone-based platform to increase eye health service utilisation in Kenya. The study found that the Peek system almost tripled the number of people in a community eye health programme who were able to access primary care, due to innovative features like automated SMS patient reminders and data insights.
Dr Rono said: “I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of everyone who contributed to my research. It is vital that health innovations are supported by high-quality research so I am pleased to have been able to contribute to the evidence base for Peek, which is now helping eye health services across the world optimise and make the most of limited resources.”
The award-winning research was conducted while Dr Rono was studying for a doctorate at the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is also part of the team at Peek, leading the social enterprise’s work in Kenya and advising on the organisation’s work in other countries.
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers was founded by Royal Charter in 1629. It is one of the UK’s oldest eye health organisations, working to support better vision for all and inspire future generations committed to visionary eyecare.