Vinsighte: Meet the Unibadan Students Using Technology to Assist the Visually Impaired

Vinsighte - cfamedia

The bedrock of any nation gets solidified, by its quality of education, but imagine a young man, who has the promise of excelling, in his potential academic venture, getting involved in an accident, with a major blow to his eyesight!

With a waning vision, this young man found himself, in the ranks of people, with visual impairment and in a case, where high medical bills cannot be afforded, for correction, or, probably, a surgery, an aspiration has just got dashed.

Website screenshot

Good vision is, a requirement for learning and in a situation, where it portends difficulty in reading and proper navigation of the environment, the individual involved may, most likely, turn out to be another added burden, to the society.

Overview Of Visual Impairment

According to WHO’s blindness and visual impairment key fact report, as of October 2018, global estimation shows that, approximately, 1.3 billion people live with some form of vision impairment.

With regards to distance vision, 188.5 million people, suffer mild vision impairment, 217 million, with a moderate, to severe vision impairment, while 36 million people are blind. 826 million people live with a near vision impairment.

Moving down, to the African continent, visual impairment is a significant health challenge, with cataracts, uncorrected refractive errors, glaucoma, leading to the major conditions.

According to another report from WHO, approximately, 26.3 million people, suffer visual impairment in Africa.

From these numbers, 20.4 million have low vision and 5.9 million, are estimated, to be blind.

An estimation has, also, shown that 15.3% of the world’s blind population, reside in Africa.

With the variety, in today’s knowledge and technology, about 80% of blindness, can get treatment, or, rather, preventable.

A significant number of Africa’s population, however, remains at a risk.

Technology-driven Solution

Fortunately, cost-effective solutions are available, to combat visual impairment.

Out of the passion to solve the continent’s visual challenge, Kolawole Tomisin, Erioluwa Morenikeji, Caleb Oyolola and Dairo Tosin from the University of Ibadan, developed Vinsighte, a computer vision and sonar technology, to aid the visually impaired, in navigating, (through a guiding aid), their environment, independently and read books, conveniently and independently.

The Operations Team: (L-r), Oyolola Caleb, Kolawole Tomi, Aliyu Victor

The aim of Vinsighte, as a digital health start-up, is to bring to the barest minimum, the prevalence of vision challenges, experienced through visual impairment.

By providing technology, (diagnostic app), which detects eye diseases, at an early stage, the health start-up, sets to assist millions of people, with vision impairment.

Vinsighte - cfamedia
The Tech Team: (L-r),ERI Morenikeji , Emmanuel-Okolugbo Chukwuka, Toyin Ayanleye

What this means is that this solution will afford, visually impaired kids, on the continent, to complete their education and learn conveniently.

Vinsighte’s Product Line

Using technology, Vinsighte offers these three products:

Viri – Guiding Aid
Viri in demonstration

This assists the visually impaired, in navigating their environment, independently, through the sensing of obstacles ahead, while, also, alerting the visually impaired user.

This guiding aid alerts the user, with a gentle vibration, in the face of an obstacle, thus, guiding the visually impaired, as compared to the usual guide cane.

Visis -Smart Reading Glasses
Demonstration of the visis

Aids, the visually impaired, in reading books conveniently, by converting texts to the audio input, for the user, to listen to.

Visis is more convenient, to use for reading compared to the traditional Braille.

Dr.vee – Mobile App

A smart app that diagnoses eye diseases, recommends first aid treatment and refers to a patient, to the doctor.

Potential Milestone

The health tech start-up, in the next 10 years, plans to reach up to 10, 000 people.

Vinsighte - cfamedia
The Public Relations Team: Olarinde Olokuntoye
& Toriola Oladeji

This, according to its website, would be achieved, through providing access to diagnostic tools, ultrasonic guiding aids, smart glasses and other services, to the visually impaired.

Impact Stories

In its bid to drive more impact with technology, the Vinsighte team has visited Omoyeni school for the blind, located in Ibadan, Oyo State, reaching out, to more than 40 visually impaired children, in the school.

The team demonstrating vinsighte’s product

Sometime in 2018, the Vinsighte’s Co-Founder bagged 1.5 Million at the Union Bank Campus Innovation Challenge, as the winner and was, also, a part of the 10 e-health start-ups, to pitch in Merck Accelerator, Lagos Satellite Program.

The team with some of the visually impaired students

Vinsigthe, also, emerged champion at the ONCampus Hult Prize Challenge, the same year, at the University of Ibadan.

Recently, the health start-up was selected, to pitch at the Facebook Cchub Accelerator programme.

By 2021, Vinsighte hopes to be, the leading venture for the visually impaired and for the prevention of visual impairment.

Featured Image: The Vinsight Team

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About the author

Dare Afolabi

Technology rules the world, that's why I love writing about it

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