LAKE MARY, Fla., Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Spot, the revolutionary new vision screening tool from PediaVision, is quickly changing the efficiency of vision screenings at schools across America due to the device's speed, accuracy, ease of use and data tracking.
The new Spot vision screener is manufactured for PediaVision by Mack Medical, which selected Fisher Elementary in Arlington, Vermont as one of the schools to conduct a pilot screening.
"It was so amazing!" said Amy Goodfellow, the school nurse at Fisher Elementary, who has done many screenings over the years. "It was a wonderful experience. It would normally take me at least 10 minutes per student for a vision screening, but with the Spot vision screener, it literally took me only 10 seconds per student."
There are 160 students at Fisher Elementary, ranging in school age from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, and the entire screening took less than two hours. In the past, Goodfellow said it would take much longer, days and even weeks to complete.
Speed wasn't the only attribute about Spot that got Goodfellow's attention.
"My favorite thing about Spot was being able to screen students whom I hadn't been able to screen in the past using the eye chart," said Goodfellow. "This was perfect. It was not subjective. It was scientific, providing an accurate measurement of each student's eyes."
The screening with Spot identified 11 students who have a vision issue and are being referred to an eye doctor for a full eye exam.
"These are all students I have screened in the past, but wasn't able to identify a problem using the eye chart," said Goodfellow.
One case in particular feels like a great vision health victory for the school nurse.
"I have a special needs student whom I have been unable to get an accurate reading for in the past," Goodfellow said. "The screening with Spot showed an astigmatism, myopia (nearsightedness). The parents were so grateful to learn about these results, because their child has been struggling in school and this may be the reason. Now they can get help for their child."
Fisher Elementary principal, Deanne Lacost, watched her students go through the screening process with Spot and could immediately see the benefit.
"I was so proud that our school was chosen to use this new technology," said Lacost, who had been principal at Fisher Elementary for the past five years. "It's important for us to screen students for both vision and hearing just to monitor the students and make certain there are no issues.
"We have used the eye chart in the past, but given the opportunity to move to the Spot vision screener, we were able to screen all of the kids in a couple of hours and it usually takes a lot longer. We loved the fact that we got the information immediately."
The principal was most impressed by the ability of the Spot to screen all the children, especially the preschool students.
"I watched the screening and the way the children are screened is so different," said Lacost. "It is not invasive for the kids who are non-verbal. It was simple with no interaction required."
Vision Disability, Number One Health Issue in Schools
In a recent study of the top seven health issues in schools, vision disability is priority number one.(1) This clearly shows evidence that addressing the prevalence of visions disorders can improve student outcomes.
The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that vision disability is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children. Approximately 80 percent(2) of what children learn in their early school years is visual. Alarmingly, fewer than 15 percent of all preschool children receive an eye exam and fewer than 22 percent receive any type of vision screening.
Today, of all school-age children across America, 25 percent suffer from a vision problem,(2) yet in the 9 to 15 year age group, only 10% of those needing glasses actually had them.
The new breakthrough Spot vision screener was recently launched and can assess a child's vision with unmatched speed, accuracy and deliver immediate comprehensive results.
Spot has an incredibly quick capture time of less than one second 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 taking a photo. Spot's touchscreen interface clearly displays the results accurately and instantly. Spot is easily used by anyone when screening children from 6 months through adults.
With Spot, a typical school can be screened in one day, dramatically lowering the cost to screen students. Access to the screening data is immediate and Spot facilitates a large scale data analysis. Spot enables educators to instantly print reports, monitor follow-up care and show supporters the statistics behind childhood vision issues.
PediaVision, inventor of the Spot vision screener, is dedicated to solving the critical problem of undiagnosed vision problems and transforming the lives of thousands of children each day. Automated and objective vision screening empowers organizations in public health and private medicine to positively affect the outcomes of a child's education performance.
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.
(1) Basch, C.E. (2010) Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap.
(2) American Optometric Association