An app has been developed to help manage device use by children. This is another tool trying to delay or prevent childhood myopia (short-sight).
The app, named plano, plays in the background of phones and tablets, reminding children to hold the device at a healthy distance from their eyes and to take regular breaks from the screen.
It also screens for myopia and monitors user behaviour patterns. This information is fed into smart algorithms which generate reports for parents. The aim is to identify changes which indicate eye testing is needed.
Across the globe, the increase in smart device usage seems correlated with rising rates of myopia. This is casuing both a public health and economic problem. At the same time, device dependency, gaming addiction, cyber bullying, diabetes, and lack of outdoor activity are global public health epidemics linked to excessive or inappropriate device usage by children.
“It is critical that we reduce the risk of children developing sight threatening myopia,” says Dr. Mo Dirani, Founder and CEO of plano. “plano aims to work with governments, industry players and other important stakeholders to combat this growing problem.”
Plano launched in Singapore in 2017 and the developers are partnering with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board and establishing broad industry collaborations. More recently, the company expanded into Malaysia and India, and announced plans to launch in Australia. Visit www.plano.co