Oculo and plano have announced a new partnership designed to combat the growing global myopia epidemic.
Plano is the developer of the ‘plano app’, which provides a suite of child safety functions, while using science-based features to help modify behaviour in children to reduce myopia related risk factors and empower healthier device usage.
“plano empowers parents to work with their children to develop healthy screen habits – and this includes regular and timely comprehensive eye check-ups. As part of plano’s inbuilt eye referral system, users will get reminders when their children are due for an optometry review and can seamlessly find an optometrist in the Oculo network for care,” explained plano founder and CEO, Dr Mo Dirani.
Oculo and plano are working to connect kids to eye care that translates into better vision for life
“Oculo’s mission is to connect eye care so that patients don’t get lost in the system. As a working mother, I know how busy life gets, and I really appreciate seamless connections. Oculo and plano are working to connect kids to eye care that translates into better vision for life,” says Oculo founder and CEO, Dr Kate Taylor.
The world is in the midst of a dual myopic and smartphone epidemic, with half the world’s population expected to have myopia (short-sightedness) by 2050. Children are particularly vulnerable, and early interventions can matter for life. plano and Oculo are working together to help parents protect their eyesight by being able to make better choices about kids’ exposure to screens and gain recommended eye care support.
1.5 billion people across the world currently suffer from myopia (short-sightedness). This number is expected to rise exponentially, reaching five billion people by 2050. Of these, one billion of whom are expected to develop high myopia. High myopia increases the risks of blinding eye conditions and reduced quality of life.
The correlation of the onset of myopia with the rapid increase in excessive smart device use in children worldwide, is not the only adverse effect resulting from the shift in our lifestyle habits concurrent with an increasingly digitised world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially classified internet addiction syndrome and gaming addiction as mental health conditions.
With over 80% of young adults affected in East Asian cities and predictions of 50% of the global population affected by 2050,1it is possible that the incidence of myopia will exceed rates of other chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. Myopia confers significant financial costs, both for individuals and healthcare systems. The global cost of myopia in 2011 was estimated at US$65 billion, and continues to grow.2
- Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123:1036-42
- Lim CSS, Frick KD. The economics of myopia. In: Beuerman RW, Saw SM, Tan DHH, Wong TY, editors. Myopia: animal models to clinical trials. Singapore: World Scientific; 2011.