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Visionary alliances: OOXii's global drive for sight equality

Visionary alliances: OOXii's global drive for sight equality

In a world where over one billion people face vision impairment due to limited access to glasses, innovative solutions are crucial to addressing this global health challenge.

The collaborative efforts of social enterprise startup OOXii, the South Australian node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF-SA), and the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) are paving the way for transformative advancements in vision care delivery.

Leveraging their collective expertise and resources, the partnership is facilitating OOXii’s seamless transition towards Australian manufacturing and revolutionising the accessibility and distribution of glasses at a global scale.

Transcending conventional methods which prove impractical and unaffordable for people living in remote and low-resource settings, OOXii’s innovative approach fosters a movement towards sustainable, locally driven solutions with far-reaching impact.

The solution? The OOXii Vision Kit, designed to empower basic health workers to conduct vision tests and dispense affordable, customised glasses on the spot, even in low-resource and remote areas. The kit centres around a patented testing device, which has been meticulously designed for easy operation by individuals without prior eye care expertise and a manual crimping tool, which allows the frame to be easily adjusted to suit the individual’s eyes and the curvature of their nose bridge.

Combining stylish, durable glasses with pre-cut lenses that can be immediately dispensed, this innovative kit promises to transform the landscape of vision care.

Pilot studies in Papua New Guinea, which were generously funded by the Kokoda Track Foundation, have yielded promising results and Dr Sarah Crowe, the founder and CEO of OOXii, is exhilarated by the transformations she’s witnessed.

"Beyond enhancing individual lives," said Sarah "access to glasses holds broader outcomes, from enriching educational opportunities to strengthening community skills like safe driving. The ripple effect is incredible."

Attributing much of OOXii's success to valued collaborations, Sarah says ANFF-SA and MDPP have ensured the efficacy and accessibility of their vision care solution.

“ANFF-SA and MDPP have both demonstrated what quality development partnerships can do for a startup and they’ve been pivotal in refining and developing key components of the OOXii Vision Kit,” said Sarah.

Thanks to the assistance from ANFF-SA, OOXii's industrial designer, Ed Ko, has significantly improved the design and functionality of the testing wheel prototype for manufacturing.

"I received from ANFF-SA some of the highest quality first-run machined parts I've ever encountered…they nailed it," Ed remarked. "It’s great to work with teams that have broad technical capability, a collaborative spirit, produce quality parts, and, most importantly, have a 'let's give it a go' attitude.

Sarah says there is a vibe when working with the ANFF-SA team and she knew, instinctively, the team would be fully invested.

“Your project is not just a ‘job’ for ANFF-SA,” said Sarah. “Their expertise, equipment and enthusiasm made the whole process easier, and they produced customised parts for our kit that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else.”

As well as accelerating OOXii’s progress, the collaboration has played a pivotal role in accessing a funding pipeline through ANFF-C (ANFF Commercialisation) and Sarah said the welcomed cash injection provided a bigger scope, sparking fresh discussions and exciting new possibilities amongst the team.

“Thanks to the generous seed funding from ANFF-C, we've propelled the design and development of the test wheel forward. We've also incorporated innovations and enhancements that were on our wish list from the field trials," said Sarah.

Director of ANFF-SA Professor Craig Priest, said the dynamic partnership between OOXii, ANFF-SA, MDPP, and ANFF-C is unlocking a tangible impact on society.

“The substantial advancements achieved with OOXii’s Vision Kit vividly illustrate the remarkable efficacy of collaborative efforts," said Professor Priest. "Together, we're not only enhancing lives and bolstering communities, but also addressing a global challenge and influencing the future of vision care worldwide."

“This partnership resonates deeply with ANFF-SA's commitment to supporting businesses in transitioning towards local manufacturing and we’re delighted to play a pivotal role in OOXii’s pursuit that will affect meaningful societal change.

ANFF-SA is a world-class micro and nanofabrication facility providing open access to cutting-edge equipment housed in state-of-the-art facilities with support from world-leading experts.

If you require support or assistance with your current project or upcoming research, please contact us today on 08 8302 5226 or visit

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