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Greater accessibility to low vision aids

The newly launched STAAR (Smart Technology Active Ageing Resource) CORNER at SNEC offers trial of low vision aids for patients.

(Above) Presentation of OrCam My Eye from the Israeli ambassador to Prof Wong Tien Yin

Set up in collaboration with SPD, the STAAR CORNER, initiated by Clin Prof Anna Tan and the SNEC Low Vision rehabilitation team, provides trial and loan service of various Assistive Technology (AT) devices for patients with low vision. This is the first-of-its-kind service in a local healthcare institution.

In conjunction with Assistive Technology Vision Week 2021, a free webinar was held on 16 October 2021 for patients, caregivers and the public to learn how AT devices and smart technology can help the visually impaired in their daily needs, as well as improve their quality of life.

(Above) Guest-of-Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity making a speech

The virtual event was attended by Guest-of-Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity. In her speech, she spoke on the importance of innovation in the midst of rising visual impairment rates globally.

Mrs Teo also discussed the many uses of artificial intelligence (AI), with a special mention of SELENA+, a deep learning system developed by SNEC and SERI [read more here] that the government is working on to expand its use to detect other ailments.

“I thank SNEC for your spirit of innovating technology for good in mind. I am sure we will continue to hear more success stories from you,” said Mrs Teo, who also featured the webinar on her Facebook page.

(Above) Clin Assoc Prof Anna Tan hosting the Israeli ambassador at the STAAR CORNER

AT devices offered at the STAAR CORNER include handheld and desktop video magnifiers, talking scientific calculators, Braille touchscreen tablets, and more. Also available is the OrCam My Eye, a wearable device developed in Israel that can read text, recognise faces, and identify products. It was sponsored by Mandarin Opto-Medic Co Pte Ltd and presented to SNEC by the Embassy of Israel in Singapore. The SNEC Low Vision team will also continually work with various collaborators to bring in state-of-the-art AT devices available in the market to our STAAR CORNER to serve our patients.

Each device can be loaned from STAAR CORNER for up to three weeks. The loan is free as long as the devices are returned in good order before the due date. Through this service, low vision patients will be able to make better-informed decisions on the devices appropriate for their needs.

Location: SNEC Level 3 (via Lobby C)
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Click here to check out other articles in SINGVISION Issue 2/2021.