Imagine Cup winner Eyenaemia partners with aid groups to diagnose at-risk children


An Australian startup is partnering with the Red Cross and Save the Children to help diagnose anaemia in children in Mali and Bangladesh.


Eyenaemia’s app, which won the Microsoft Imagine Cup last year, diagnoses anaemia with nothing more than a photo of an individual’s eye.


The partnership with the Red Cross and Save the Children will serve two purposes. It will help Eyenaemia build a picture of how accurately it can diagnose the condition and will help the not-for-profits measure anaemia rates in those nations, so they can build a picture as to why the rates there are so high.


Anaemia is a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells, which can be dangerous if left untreated.


Co-founder Jarrel Seah, who won the Hills Young Innovator of the Year, Mobile category at the iAwards on Thursday night, says since winning the Imagine Cup and the $US50,000 grant that came with it, the startup has been focusing on improving and measuring the accuracy of its diagnosis. That accuracy currently sits at around 90%.


The app can work using smartphones, or feature phones. The trials in Mali and Bangladesh are tentatively scheduled for early next year and will be conducted using the smartphones of aid workers on the ground in the two countries. The goal is to test thousands of children.


“The number could vary a lot,” Seah says.


“Mali is a country at civil war, the infrastructure is not the best. How many children we can get really depends on how many children we can reach.”


The startup is currently funding development through grant funding, but is looking at raising capital from impact investors.


“We’re going to be very choosey about finding the right investor,” Seah says.


“We are focusing on making an impact, not money, and that’s a goal we want our investor to share with us.”


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