The School of Optometry (SO) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) joins hands with the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation (HKIF) founded by Sino Group, to launch the PolyU-HKIF Children Eye Care Programme to help local children from underprivileged families to contain myopia progression at the optimal age and reduce vision problems caused by myopia in the long run.
Sponsored by HKIF, this 2-year eye care programme will benefit 200 children aged 6-12, with 300 degrees or above of short-sightedness, living in Sham Shui Po and Kwun Tong. Participating children will receive a comprehensive eye assesment from PolyU and will be provided with the University’s award-winning Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) Spectacle Lens to control their myopia progression as well as regular follow-up check-ups for two years.
The programme was kicked off at a ceremony on 31 Aug 2019 officiated by Dr Miranda Lou, Executive Vice President, PolyU; Professor David Shum, Yeung Tsang Wing Yee and Tsang Wing Hing Professor in Neuropsychology, Chair Professor of Neuropsychology and Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, PolyU; Professor Carly Lam, Interim Head, School of Optometry, PolyU; Mr Daryl Ng, JP, Deputy Chairman of Sino Group and Chairman of the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation and Mr Andrew Young, Associate Director (Innovation) of Sino Group.
Dr Miranda Lou, Executive Vice President of PolyU, said, ”This is a meaningful programme that assists the children in the underprivileged families to receive comprehensive eye care service and control their myopia progression. We are delighted to learn that PolyU contributes our innovation and expertise to make a difference in our society. While serving the community with their professional skills, our students also gain experience in practising what they learned in the classroom through this service-learning model.”
Mr Daryl Ng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation, remarked, ”We share similar values with PolyU, which has a strong and excellent tradition in scientific research. The Group believes that innovation and technology defines our future, it is crucial to the diversified, sustainable development of Hong Kong as well as enhance its competitiveness. ” The programme demonstrates the boundless possibilities of scientific innovation and its importance to our lives and society. In addition to supporting home-grown innovation, HKIF also hopes that this collaboration expands the children’s horizons, opens them up to innovation and technology.
Ten-year-old Huang Ho-yan, is a beneficiary of the programme. She was diagnosed with myopia of 150 degrees last year, and it has increased to 300 degrees. Her mother had thought that wearing glasses would lead to a rapid increase of myopia, so at first Ho-yan were told to wear glasses only when necessary, such as in class when she needed to look at the blackboard. However, as Ho-yan’s eyesight continued to deteriorate, her mother then tried to look for myopia control solutions but found such products unaffordable. Ho-yan will soon be provided with myopia control DIMS Spectacle Lens under the programme. Her parents would also remind their book-loving daughter to take a break while reading. Limit will be set for Ho-yan of watching television and using electronic devices as an additional safeguard.
DIMS Spectacle Lens, jointly developed by PolyU and Hoya Corporation, have won the Grand Prize, Grand Award and Gold Medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland, in April 2018. It is a comfortable and safe product for myopia control. Results of the clinical trials show that children wearing DIMS Spectacle Lens had myopia progression reduced by 59%. More than 20% of the children who were in treatment group of the research did not show any myopia progression at all.
In addition to helping the eyesight of children, the programme also aims to expand their horizons in innovation and technology. Participating children will be offered the opportunities to join activities related to innovation and technology, such as guided tours to OC STEM Lab at Olympian City and Sino Inno Lab in Kwun Tong.