Eye opening app

Vula Eye Health App
South Africa (Cape Town)

Around 80% of global blindness is preventable or curable. The biggest problem is available not treatment options, but not being able to see a specialist. Dr William Mapham saw the potential for technology to improve referral networks while working in rural Swaziland. Back in South Africa he developed Vula (which means ‘open’ in Swati) with Dylan Edwards.

The app allows healthcare workers to look up eye conditions through an in app library, capture and share patient information, and carry out eye tests on the phone. The app also has a chat function that allows the health care worker to instantly share photographs and speak in real time with a remote medical specialist. The app is currently being used to make referrals to five major hospitals across South Africa, opening eyes to its global potential.

Written by

Claire Proudfoot (01 August 2015)


Claire is an international producer/ director based in London. The South African spends most of her time making content in sub-Saharan Africa about tech, healthcare and gender.

Project leader

William Mapham, Ophthalmology Registrar

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.