Jennifer Tang, a doctor, and her business partner Jarrel Seah, a final year med student, are an unlikely duo who are developing tech to flip the medical sector.
The pair have come up with an app that takes a selfie of your eye to determine whether or not you have anaemia, or are at risk.
While working on rotation in Mildura, country Victoria, back in 2013 the pair noticed there was no way to conveniently measure whether patients were at risk of iron deficiency, in the comfort of their own home.
“Being in the medical field lets you see problems which others can’t see. Being young students as well, allows you to find solutions which other people might think are out of the box or not possible,” Seah told Business Insider.
Iron deficiency can increase the rate of mortality in pregnant women and can stunt childhood growth. Figuring out if someone is at risk early can ease the burden on the healthcare system.
The Eyenaemia app has even received the tick of approval from the likes of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Satya Nadella when the pair won the Imagine Cup.
The prize was $50,000 in funding and a 28-minute mentoring session with Gates.
“It was very valuable and, although short, he gave us some very good advice and good contacts,” Tang said, adding he actually said “this is a great idea.”
The pair admitted they didn’t have speaking points for the meeting with Gates and weren’t very prepared.
“Our conversations were more questions from us around where should we go next and who we should talk to,” he said, adding Gates told them “I think I know a guy.”
The team wants to expand into developing countries to improve the screening of anaemia.
Eyenaemia cannot be downloaded in the app store because the team is working on getting it approved by relevant health bodies like the TGA.
“It’s very important to us that it does have that because we don’t want to just be another app in the app store. We want it to be something that really helps clinicians identify anaemia,” Tang said.