Bill Gates has expressed his excitement over Eyenaemia, an Australian medical startup that won Microsoft’s 2014 Imagine Cup.
Eyenaemia, developed and founded by Monash University students Jarrel Seah and Jennifer Tang, is an app that allows users to self-screen for anemia by taking a ‘selfie’ of their eye.
“It’s exciting to see bright young people like Jennifer and Jarrel applying their talents to problems that disproportionately affect the poor,” Gates, recently named the wealthiest American by Forbes for the 21st year in a row, wrote on his blog Gates Notes.
“I could see a future version of Eyenaemia being used in developing countries, especially with pregnant women, since anemia contributes to nearly 20 percent of deaths during pregnancy.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2 billion people around the world suffer from anemia. The findings also reveal that 50 per cent of preschool children in developing countries suffer from the condition.
Eyenaemia’s win at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup World Finals 2014 competition earned the team $50,000, an amount that Seah and Tang have said would be used to further the app’s global reach.
“Although innovation begins with a great idea, it certainly doesn’t end there,” writes Gates.
“In the early stages, they had a lot to learn: They went online to read up on design and cloud computing, which they didn’t know much about. Now the challenge is different. They have to keep improving their work.”