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Our evidence base

Peek tools are developed using rigorous scientific and public health methods, and are backed by numerous peer-reviewed research studies.

We maintain a strong research and teaching collaboration with the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH), a world-leading academic centre based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Our research with ICEH and other partners has enabled us to develop, validate and continuously improve our tools. Our software and data intelligence platform is now powering rapid assessments and eye health programmes across Africa and Asia.

Validating our vision test

Peek Acuity, our distance vision check app, is embedded into our software for rapid assessments and eye health programmes in schools, communities and workplaces. Research published in JAMA Ophthalmology in 2015 shows that Peek Acuity is at least as accurate as conventional distance vision checks when used by non-specialist community health workers in Kenya.

Phone showing the Peek vision test app is held in front of a traditional screening chart.

Trial of the Peek Acuity app in Nakuru, Kenya.

Proving the power of Peek

One of our earliest trials, in India in 2017, helped us refine our workflow for school eye health programmes and showed that Peek can be used to track the impact of eye health interventions. A school eye health programme in Kenya powered by Peek was evaluated in a randomised controlled trial comparing it to a conventional school eye health programme. The results, published in The Lancet Global Health in 2018, show that more than double the proportion of children attended follow-up appointments with Peek.

Another randomised controlled trial in Kenya compared a community eye health programme powered by Peek to a conventional programme. Published in The Lancet Digital Health in 2020, the study showed that with Peek, almost three times the number of people with eye problems were connected to care compared to conventional programmes.

A further recent study from Kenya has provided proof-of-concept that an adapted version of Peek software can support community volunteers to identify, triage and refer people accurately. We are now using these results to inform our product development cycle, so that our technology continually improves and meets our partners’ changing needs.

School children in Kenya sit in a row, using their hands to cover one eye as part of a vision screening session.

Vision screening at a school in Kenya. Credit: Rolex/Joan Bardeletti

Expanding our tools

Near-vision impairment affects nearly half of all people living with vision problems. Following the success of our Peek Acuity test for distance vision, we began work to address the issue of untreated near-vision impairment. Our near vision smartphone-based visual acuity test was compared to conventional near vision testing in Nepal. In 2022, the results of the validation study were published in the Translational Vision Science & Technology Journal. They showed the smartphone-based test could be used to identify people with near visual impairment, with high levels of agreement with the conventional test. We plan to begin integrating the near vision test into our software in 2024, for use in eye health programmes.

Supporting the sector

Peek team members regularly collaborate on research across the eye health sector. Our team has contributed to reviews of the economic impact of vision loss, Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) eye health surveys and The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health.

Research briefings

Find out more about these key publications

A Peek team member uses Peek's smartphone-based vision check app to check a woman's vision in a house of a remote village of Kitale province, Kenya.

Increasing access to eye care services using Peek

Almost three times the number of people with eye problems were connected to care using Peek, compared to conventional programmes.

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Three Kenyan women use the Peek Vision screening app to test the vision of children at a rural primary school in Kenya.

Peek boosts school eye health programmes

Peek more than doubled the proportion of children attending follow-up appointments compared to conventional school eye health programmes.

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Person holding a phone showing the 'tumbling E' of the Peek Acuity smartphone-based vision test.

Vision test validation: the Peek Acuity app

Peek Acuity, our smartphone-based distance vision check app, is as accurate as traditional charts.

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A woman has her vision tested using a chart as part of the validation study for the Peek Vision near vision test in Nepal.

Validating our smartphone near vision test

A smartphone-based visual acuity test for near vision has been developed by Peek and validated with our research partners.

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