New PC/ABS device targets students' vision problems

A new plastic device hopes to help remedy vision problems, a significant disability affecting the learning potential of children.

A patent-pending technology developed by PediaVision (Lake Mary, FL) assesses a child's vision, eliminating subjective analysis that results from many of today's vision screening tools.

Vision testing
C.K. Chorley of PediaVision conducts a vision screening test on Cassidy Pickering, a second grade student at Fisher Elementary School in Arlington, Vermont.

Similar to a point-and-shoot camera, the wireless, handheld, device, called Spot, captures results in less than one second, also making it useful in a physician's office or a large-scale public screening. According to PediaVision, a typical school can be screened in one day, lowering the cost to screen students.

 After a five-inch touchscreen displays results, a printed report graphs where key measurements fall within an industry-defined standard. "We're also using new processes to analyze the data, resulting in consistent, predictable accuracy across a wide range of measurements, and a very low false positive rate," says PediaVision CEO David Melnik.

Spot screens for several common vision issues, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, blurred vision, unequal refractive power, structural abnormalities and unequal pupil size.                                                                       

Plastic Plus Aluminum

Mack Molding (Arlington, VT) produces four parts from three tools for the exterior skins, and machines the lens holder from aluminum. Additionally, Mack manages a supply base of 35 vendors for 65 unique parts, and assembles the product. After performing 14 functional tests, Mack ships the product directly to PediaVision's customers. The four-piece housing is molded of UL V0 rated polycarbonate/ABS.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that vision disability is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children. That's significant, says the CDC, because approximately 80 percent of what children learn in their early school years is visual. In children six to 11 years old, an estimated 21.5 percent have a vision problem. In students 12 to 17 years, 24 percent are affected.

"Many of the things we can do to move the educational performance bar in this country require long-term, big-ticket investments," says Melnik. "Ensuring that young people have an opportunity to see clearly does not. So we must do better. The status quo simply isn't working."






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