LAKE MARY, Fla., Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As students across the country prepare to return to the classroom, school administrators are making sure everything is in order for the new school year. One of the important items on that list is health updates, making sure students submit their physical exam reports, which include a very important test for all students – vision screening.
Vision is very important to school administrators, many of whom have become accustomed to conducting their own school vision screenings, which can take weeks and sometimes months due to the number of students.
Last spring, Palmetto Elementary in Polk County, Florida, learned of a revolutionary new vision screening device that can improve the process and help administrators ensure that their students have been accurately screened. After seeing Spot in action, they were pleasantly surprised to see the tangible results from the screening.
Of the 537 students screened, 148 were referred for follow-up care, just over the 1 in 4 national average. Out of the number of students referred, 55 already owned glasses, leaving 93 students recommended for follow-up care. Myopia (nearsightedness), attributed to over 45 percent of the referrals, with Astigmatism (blurred vision) being identified in more than 37 percent of the referred students.
"That was the big thing that really got our attention," said Sarah Miranda, a physical education teacher at Palmetto, who organized the vision screening. "Using Spot, there were so many students that didn't pass the screening and were sent for a full eye exam."
A national eye care company, VSP, came in a few weeks after the screening and provided full comprehensive eye exams on site in addition to free eye exam vouchers to 150 other students who failed the screening.
"We compared the results of the screening to the final prescription by Dr. Larry Lampert and it was very close, if not exact, a majority of the time," said Niki Thomas, the lead mobile clinic operations manager at VSP.
A few months after the screening, Palmetto received the results from the standardized test, which was taken after many of the students had received eyeglasses donated by Transitions and VSP. The teachers proudly reported a great improvement in scores over the prior year.
"One teacher of an autistic student came into the office in tears, so grateful," said Miranda. "She told us how the student now wore glasses, stayed in her seat and kept working. All of a sudden, she could see and was very interested and doing well."
The breakthrough vision screener Spot was recently introduced into the market and can assess the vision of anyone from 6 months through adult with accuracy, while delivering immediate comprehensive objective results.
Spot has an incredibly quick capture time of one second or less, which makes screening equally efficient in a physician's office or large-scale public screening. The WiFi-enabled, handheld device makes vision screening as easy as using a camera. Spot's touchscreen interface clearly displays the results accurately and instantly.
PediaVision, inventor of the award-winning Spot vision screener, is dedicated to solving the critical health issue of undiagnosed vision problems and transforming the lives of thousands of children each day. A child with an undetected or untreated vision problem is more likely to develop social or emotional problems. Thus, a child's vision problems can affect not only their own learning, but that of their peers. Automated and objective vision screening empowers organizations in public health and private medicine to ensure children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Supported by ophthalmologists, optometrists, scientists and leading technology innovators, the Spot vision screener is breakthrough technology and represents what vision screening should be. For more information, including how to order Spot, please visit www.pediavision.com.
 Zabba, Joel N. "Children's Vision Care in The 21st Century & Its Impact On Education, Literacy, Social Issues, & The Workplace: A Call To Action ." Journal of Behavioral Optometry (2011).
 2010 Charles E. Basch, Teachers College, Columbia University. A Research Initiative of the Campaign for Educational Equity Teachers College, Columbia University.