Plano was developed with a clear purpose; to save sight and empower lives. With a culture of disruptive thinking grounded in real scientific research, Plano promotes the use of innovative technology to provide a solution to help mitigate the public health, societal and economic issues posed by excessive device usage.
Plano’s ecosystem comprises of the parental management and eye health application (plano app), an E-commerce directory for device free activities (plano Shop), an online optometry service delivery platform (plano Eyecheck), an online platform that raises awareness on the amount of time that people are spending on smart devices (Plano Time Machine), school outreach programmes (plano@school), workplace consultancy services (plano@work), a bestselling children’s book series (The Plano Adventures) and Big Data analytics.
The plano application was developed to address the rising issue of unhealthy smart device use in children and to assist parents to cultivate healthy eye care habits in children. As the world’s first science-based eye health app with the Singapore government’s support and affiliations with scientific institutions (SNEC and SERI), plano combines a suite of child safety functions and science-based features that help modify behaviour in children to reduce myopia related risk factors, such as excessive near work and lack of outdoor activity, and empower healthier device usage in children.
The app runs in the background of smart devices, sending friendly alerts and reminders that recommend good eye care practices, including optimal face-to-screen distance, proper device use posture, spectacle detection and for children to take timely eye breaks. The app also reminds parents on when to take their children for regular and timely comprehensive eye examinations according to the recommended national guidelines. Smart algorithms are utilised to generate detailed digital eye health progress reports that inform parents on their children’s device use behaviour and eye health on a weekly basis. *For the full list of parental management and vision health smart features, visit https://www.plano.co/plano-app/
plano Shop: Points based rewards system
The plano Shop is a unique aspect of the plano app that aims to foster healthy device use and encourage outdoor activity in children through a points based rewards system. Children earn plano pointsby following and complying with the in-app reminders. With these points, children can request for exclusive device-free activities available in the plano Shop, which parents can approve and purchase through the plano app as well. The in-app rewards platform reinforces children’s good device use and eye health practices and empowers them to take the initiative in their own vision care journey through fostering a love for device-free activities.
The app uses a freemium model – it is free to download and use, with a subscription fee of S$29.98/year if parents wish to subscribe to its premium functions. Parents can also subscribe to the Clear Vision Kit bundles. These bundles tie in the premium version of the app with The Plano Adventures book series (The Learning Bundle) or rewards from the plano Shop (The Activity Bundle) for S$29.98/year. *The Clear Vision Kit is currently only available in Singapore.
Plano’s newly launched product, plano Eyecheck, was developed to address the global blind spot in eye care which is the under-utilisation of eye care services, delayed diagnosis and the lack of preventative management in eye care. plano Eyecheck is an easy-to-use, patient-centered online platform that connects users to their nearest optometrist and allows them to book comprehensive eye checks for themselves and their children, and better manage their eye health and myopia. Existing plano app users will be able to use the plano Eyecheck service directly as it is seamlessly integrated with the plano app, which allows them to book and amend appointments as well as record and track their children’s eye health information all within the plano app.
It is believed that plano Eyecheck will help to close the loop for eye care service delivery in Singapore and in the near future, globally. With a variety of major optometry partners including Videre, Nanyang Optical and W Optics onboard, Plano aims to get families with children from as young as 6 months old into the eye care system, even for children who do not have perceived vision problems. Early detection and intervention are key in addressing problems before they deteriorate unnecessarily. *plano Eyecheck is currently only available in Singapore.
Plano Time Machine
Plano Time Machine is Plano’s latest and most innovative development. Using the latest scientific research and data which is inputted by the user, Time Machine is an online experience that provides users with insight on how their tiny screens are impacting their lives significantly. Time Machine informs each user about the time lost on their screens over their lifetime and makes recommendations on how they can develop a healthier relationship with their devices. With over 2000 surveys already completed within a week of its launch, Time Machine is establishing itself to be one of Plano’s greatest scientific and data-driven development.
Plano is aligned with the Health Promotion Board in Singapore and presents to all primary schools across the nation about myopia and how to mitigate it, as well as the basic anatomy and optics of the eye. These talks aim to empower children across the island with the knowledge of how to properly take care of their eyes from an early age.
Plano is ramping up efforts to bring vision health to companies and industries across Singapore. The plano@work consultancy programme educates corporates on responsible device use and eye health management at the workplace. As part of the programme, staff-training on methods to improve work productivity and job satisfaction through good eye care habits and responsible device use will also be provided, along with evidence-based recommendations to achieve a vision-friendly workplace.
The Plano Adventures series
The Plano Adventures is a bestselling children’s book series which has been featured on The Straits Times bestseller’s list. Out of Order, the 5th book in the series has also been nominated for the Popular Reader’s Choice Award. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents can vote for it here. These early chapter books take young readers on the adventures of Professor Plano as he defeats Lord Myopic with the help of his adorable twin sidekicks. Each book in the series is grounded in scientific research and was written to empower children to tackle the adverse effects of excessive device use. These include myopia, cyber bullying, and screen and gaming addiction.
10,000 copies of the books have been sold in Singapore alone. The books are sold in all major bookstores in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Singapore and will be available in China soon. They are also available for online orders in Singapore on The Plano Shop, and worldwide on Amazon, Book Depository and Marshall Cavendish.
Plano’s long-term objectives are to develop interventions to reduce the onset and slow the progression of myopia in children worldwide. Building the world’s largest repository of myopia-related data and quantifying the prevalence, incidence and progression of myopia and high myopia, and the contribution of behavioural risk factors associated with these processes will provide the knowledge base on which future interventions for myopia are being developed. These findings and interventions will better inform our understanding of the epidemiology and risk factors of myopia and will be used to guide specifically-tailored awareness campaigns on eye health and smart device use behaviour in children globally.
The journey so far
Plano’s journey first began in the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) – Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Incubator programme. From the app’s humble beginnings in Singapore, the team’s passion and vision has not only propelled the plano app to launch worldwide (over 1 million downloads), it has enabled the creation of an entire ecosystem; a comprehensive solution to excessive device use. We believe that this ecosystem is the answer to keeping all eyes healthy in this digital world, and as a company, we welcome government and industry partnerships.