For this initiative, the handset maker has partnered with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) in Korea.
According to Samsung, the upcycling program is helping to address about 1 billion global cases of vision impairment that are preventable with timely diagnosis.
“People around the globe face barriers to accessing fundamental health care, and we saw an opportunity to engineer smart, innovative solutions that reuse products to drive more sustainable practices and make a positive impact in our communities,” said Sung-Koo Kim, VP of Sustainability Management Office, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.
The Galaxy Upcycling program aims to create innovative use cases for Galaxy smartphones.
Through this program, an older Galaxy smartphone can be used for operating the EYELIKE fundus camera, which connects to a lens attachment for enhanced fundus diagnosis, while the smartphone is used for capturing images.
The smartphone then leverages artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyse and diagnose images for ophthalmic diseases. The patient data is accurately logged in an app, which also suggests an affordable treatment regimen.
The diagnosis camera is claimed to screen patients for conditions that may lead to blindness, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
This development assumes importance as according to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people have a form of vision impairment and almost half of these cases were preventable or have yet to be addressed.
“The combination of using multiple optical technologies and artificial intelligence, coupled with camera performance of a Galaxy smartphone, created an affordable medical device that was just as capable as a fundus camera used by medical professionals. This not only solved a health issue but a growing environmental concern as well,” said Sangchul Yoon of Yonsei University Health System.
“IAPB is very pleased that Samsung is working closely with its member organizations to pilot these solutions. Working with Samsung allows our member organizations to deliver technology in pilot countries and build cooperative and constructive relationships in these regions,” said Drew Keys, Western Pacific Region (WPR) Coordinator at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
Additionally, Samsung said it is aiming to collect 7.5 million tons of e-waste and make use of 500,000 tons of recycled plastic by 2030.
Furthermore, the fundus camera diagnosis equipment is said to be made with 35% recycled content and is designed for easy reuse.