|The USee diagnostic device allows trained refractionists to perform a visual acuity test and deliver prescriptive eyeglasses in the poorest parts of the world.|
April 7, 2019, was World Health Day, an initiative of the World Health Organization designed to draw attention to the right for access to quality healthcare around the world. Materials supplier PolyOne Corp. (Avon Lake, OH) marked the occasion by announcing its successful collaboration with non-profit Global Vision 2020 (GV2020), which has the goal of bringing clear eyesight to more than one billion people living in extreme poverty. Since clinical trials began in 2016, the partnership has delivered correct-strength glasses to approximately 21,000 people in 21 countries, said PolyOne in a press release.
Designers Ian Akoro, Jane Spikowski and John Church of PolyOne’s IQ Design team donated their time and expertise to help Kevin White, Executive Director of GV2020, develop his invention, a diagnostic device called the USee. The PolyOne team worked on industrial design, ergonomics, manufacturability and material selection for the device in collaboration with White and toolmaker/molder Alpha Tool and Mold, a longtime PolyOne customer. The injection molded USee device includes a copolyester frame, medical-grade polycarbonate lenses and acetal for the dials and gears.
The device enables local volunteers trained as “refractionists” to assist patients, who turn dials on the USee to determine their own prescription. Volunteers then make a pair of snap-together, correct-strength eyeglasses on site, explained PolyOne. GV2020 calls it the “dial-snap-wear” method, and it takes about 15 minutes per person. The USee device is packaged within a kit that contains various strength lenses and conventional eyeglass frames.
White was motivated to bring corrective vision technology to developing economies while on international missions with the Marine Corps more than 14 years ago. “Why did I choose this particular issue? Because if left uncorrected, poor vision hinders education, limits prospects for employment, causes vehicular accidents and prevents individuals from attaining personal independence and prosperity. Clear sight is truly a life-changing gift,” said White.
|Once the prescription has been made via the USee diagnostic device, correct-strength eyeglasses can be snapped together on site in about 15 minutes.|
“Working toward a solution to a world problem of this scale is in perfect alignment with PolyOne’s sustainability goals and commitment to our communities, both local and global,” said Cathy Dodd, Vice President, Marketing. “Through our design expertise, deep material science resources, and the energy and passion of our associates, PolyOne is well placed to help organizations such as GV2020 achieve their goals and make the world a better place to live.”