Andrew Bastawrous, speaker

Andrew Bastawrous

Andrew Bastawrous is an eye surgeon and an inventor, building accessible tools to bring eye health to more people.

Andrew Bastawrous co-founded PEEK, a low-cost smartphone ophthalmic tool. PEEK was built to deliver eye care in some of the world's most challenging places to those who need it most.

Videos of Andrew Bastawrous

TED Talk: Get your next eye exam on a smartphone
Peek Retina

Speaker Profile

About Andrew Bastawrous

Andrew Bastawrous is s a serial social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to empower less well off communities to help themselves.

An ophthalmologist (Eye Surgeon) and clinical lecturer in International Eye Health based at the International Centre for Eye Health at the prestigious London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Bastawrous has worked and undertaken research in Sierra Leone, Peru, Belize, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Uganda and has recently returned from living in Kenya where he was leading a major eye disease study and the development and testing of PEEK, the Portable Eye Examination Kit.

PEEK is a new smartphone based tool to detect eye diseases in the world’s most challenging areas. In 2009, Andrew received the Lachlan McNeill Scholarship for his work in Sierra Leone. In 2011 he was awarded the first Medical Research Council and Fight for Sight PhD Fellowship to perform a longitudinal population-based study of eye disease in Africa, the first of its kind.

He was further awarded the International Glaucoma Association Award and a pump-priming grant from the British Council for the Prevention of Blindness to further the development of novel mobile phone based technologies for use in resource-poor settings.  

Andrew also won the Max Perutz Science Writing Award from the Medical Research Council and his article was subsequently printed in the Metro Newspaper and was followed up by the BBC, receiving global media coverage. He was made a TED Fellow in 2014 and his TED talk has now been viewed close to one million times.

In 2014 Andrew was awarded the €100,000 Mazda Rebels with a Cause Prize (in partnership with TED) and the Gifted Citizen 2014 Award worth $100,000 presented at the Ciudad de las Ideas in Mexico. He was recently voted one of the world’s 30 most influential people in public health, one of the world’s “Top 40 Ophthalmologists under the age of 40” by The Ophthalmologist magazine and was selected as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum.

Bastawrous is on the scientific steering committee for TED and the eHealth working group for the International Coalition for Trachoma Control and is listed as an “Eye Health Leader” by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. PEEK recently ran one of the top-ten of all time crowd-funding campaigns in the health sector on Indiegogo which, together with prize money, has enabled the enterprise to bring PEEK Retina to market.

ANdrew has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles focusing on international eye health and mobile technology in healthcare and has co-authored four book chapters. He is also working with astrophysicists to crowd source retinal data, TED Fellows to map health systems, National Geographic explorers to reach isolated communities and in the meantime, together with his wife Madeleine has established a social enterprise bakery in Kenya that provides employment and the profits from which pay for eye care locally.  

As a speaker Andrew is eloquent and inspiring and he shares his story and with passion and energy. His experience in finding practical and affordable solutions to widespread but little addressed problems of the deprived, through the use of technology and collaborative networks is a kind of wake up call for us all.

Speaking Topics


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Books By Andrew Bastawrous

  • Increasing access to eye care … there's an app for that. Peek: smartphone technology for eye health
  • Six-Year Incidence of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Kenya: The Nakuru Eye Disease Cohort Study
  • Clinical Validation of a Smartphone-Based Adapter for Optic Disc Imaging in Kenya
  • The association between cigarette smoking and primary open-angle glaucoma: a systematic review.
  • Photometric Compliance of Tablet Screens and Retro-Illuminated Acuity Charts As Visual Acuity Measurement Devices.
  • Acceptability, Usability, and Views on Deployment of Peek, a Mobile Phone mHealth Intervention for Eye Care in Kenya: Qualitative Study.
  • Development and Validation of a Smartphone-Based Visual Acuity Test (Peek Acuity) for Clinical Practice and Community-Based Fieldwork.
  • Results of Automated Retinal Image Analysis for Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy from the Nakuru Study, Kenya.
  • Posterior segment eye disease in sub-Saharan Africa: review of recent population-based studies.
  • The Nakuru eye disease cohort study: methodology & rationale.
  • Prevalence and Correlates of Diabetic Retinopathy in a Population-based Survey of Older People in Nakuru, Kenya
  • Mobile health use in low- and high-income countries: an overview of the peer-reviewed literature.
  • Blindness and visual impairment due to age-related cataract in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of recent population-based studies.
  • Prevalence and predictors of refractive error and spectacle coverage in Nakuru, Kenya: a cross-sectional, population-based study.
  • Epidemiology of glaucoma in sub-saharan Africa: prevalence, incidence and risk factors.
  • Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in nakuru, kenya: a cross-sectional population-based study.
  • Losing sight under pressure.
  • Epidemiology of diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy in Africa: a systematic review.
  • The Nakuru Posterior Segment Eye Disease Study: Methods and Prevalence of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Nakuru, Kenya.
  • More than meets the eye in correcting refractive error in low income countries.
  • Medical image. Retinal macroaneurysm following a branch retinal vein occlusion.
  • Choices in correction of aphakia during vitrectomy.
  • Laser refractive eye surgery.
  • Peer-reviewed publication of abstracts presented at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) Annual Congress.
  • Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma (AACG): an important differential diagnosis for acute severe headache.
  • Mutations in FRMD7, a newly identified member of the FERM family, cause X-linked idiopathic congenital nystagmus.

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