Fast Company Announces Winners of 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards

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Rebion’s blinq™ Vision Scanner selected as Honorable Mention in the Health and Wellness Category

Rebion's blinq™ Vision Scanner

"Amblyopia ("lazy eye") and related condition, strabismus, impairs 3 to 5% of the population, causing permanent vision loss if untreated."

The winners of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to flattening the curve when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality.

Working tirelessly to change a status quo that leaves half of the children with amblyopia undetected and untreated is Boston-based start-up Rebion, recipient of an honorable mention award for eradicating amblyopia with the blinq™ vision scanner.

Amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and the related condition, strabismus, impairs 3 to 5% of the population, causing permanent vision loss if untreated. These conditions also have major social and learning consequences for affected children. Amblyopia is the number one cause for monocular vision loss in children and young adults, surpassing diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataract.

Implementing a 2-second blinq™ vision scan during pediatric primary care well visits or through public screenings enables children most in need to receive timely treatment and avoid life-altering consequences.

Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 26 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 500 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. The 2020 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Vancouver to Singapore to Tel Aviv.

Illustrating how some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies are addressing grave global challenges, Fast Company’s May/June issue celebrates, among others, an electric engine for airplanes that eliminates emissions from flights—and expensive fuel from the tricky financial calculus of the airline industry; a solar-powered refrigerator that finally frees people in remote villages from daily treks to distant markets, transforming the economics of those households; an online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste; and an initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability.

The creation of the blinq™ vision scanner has been a life-long project for Rebion co-founder, David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Boston Children’s Hospital. “In just a few seconds, our proprietary Neural Performance Scanning technology maps a signature of the fibers within the retina of the eye to objectively identify amblyopia and strabismus with unprecedented accuracy,” says Hunter. “Seeing our technology in the hands of vision screening staff is major step forward in the quest to eradicate amblyopia.”

“There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society’s biggest problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.”

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

About Rebion: Rebion manufactures innovative instruments for definitively identifying life-altering diseases that manifest from functional impairments in the brain, including amblyopia and traumatic brain injury. The company was founded in 2009 after more than 15 years of R&D and clinical testing at major medical institutions.

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