Today we can examine the ocular structures in stunning detail – with slit lamps, fundus cameras, OCT… but our first true piece of eye technology – the ophthalmoscope – still has its place. It is simple and effective, and remains extremely useful in trained hands. The new, affordable Arclight™, could in time, become a valuable tool for the mid-level health worker worldwide – helping reveal many retinal layer problems, such as macular degeneration, diabetic changes, glaucoma, and hypertension.

Yet, in many grindingly poor developing countries those on the front line have more immediate and even more basic concerns. With the bare minimum of equipment and training, and often fighting ignorance and indifference, they try to identify and treat as best they can a host of unglamorous ‘neglected’ tropical eye diseases – from simple cataract, to the foul trachoma, hideous onchocerciasis, xerophthalmia, and countless Corneal problems.