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Professor Josh Silver wins the BMJ session at Healthcare Innovation Expo

March 24, 2011

Professor Josh Silver’s selfadjustable glasses have been voted the idea most likely to make the biggest impact on healthcare by 2020 at the Healthcare Innovation Expo. 

The idea impressed the panel, which consisted of Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the BMJ, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, Dr Andy Goldberg OBE, Founder, Medical Futures and Vivienne Parry, Science Journalist and ex Tomorrow’s World presenter, as well as the Expo audience who proclaimed Professor Silver’s idea as the winner. 

Professor Silver is the inventor of the world’s first universal self-adjustable glasses – Adspecs. Self-adjustable glasses are low-cost glasses with adjustable lenses, the power of which is set by the wearer by looking through the lenses and turning a dial until they can see clearly. The glasses have a number of advantages for the developing world in that those distributing the glasses need not be highly trained, distribution is quick and easy, and almost any organisation working in the developing world can add vision correction to the services they provide. 

Professor Silver is Director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World, a research institution based in Oxford dedicated to researching the best ways of providing vision correction in the developing world. 

The Centre estimates that 1 billion or more people in the world lack a pair of glasses that they need to see clearly, and a lack of optometrists and eyecare facilities is the key issue preventing them from receiving these glasses. 

The four short listed “Innovation Champions” were: 

Professor Josh Silver, Director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World – Self-adjustable glasses 

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Chief Executive of UK Biobank – Creation and maintenance of database of large UK population for longitudinal study of factors affecting disease and well-being


Professor Robert Chambers, Institute for Development Studies – Facilitating developing world communities’ adoption of practices to end open defecation and the associated risk of disease 

Dr Patty Kostkova, Head of City University ehealth Research Centre – Use of social networks accessible via mobile phone to track disease

To view the BMJ’s online video of the Healthcare Innovation Expo visit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1rqgvbs9GQ

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