SOURCE: PediaVision

September 14, 2010 10:42 ET

Seminole County Public Schools Expand Revolutionary PediaVision™ Screening Program to Help More Students Tackle Undiagnosed Vision Problems

PediaVision Devices Deliver Breakthrough Technology to Quickly Screen Large Populations of Students More Efficiently; Accurate, Instant Results Help Children Get Immediate Treatment

LAKE MARY, FL--(Marketwire - September 14, 2010) - PediaVision, a company dedicated to solving the critical problem of undiagnosed vision problems affecting thousands of children, today announced that Seminole County Public Schools has expanded its vision screening program to help identify more children whose vision problems could potentially threaten their ability to learn and inhibit academic performance. The school system is expanding its PediaVision screenings and instituting annual exams to include even more children in the district. Fifty-one schools in the district are now screening their entire schools, not just required grade levels. Also, with the help of local doctors and VisionQuest, parents unable to afford vision services for their kids can now receive eye glasses and vision exams at lower costs.

According to Prevent Blindness America, one in four school-aged children has a vision problem significant enough to affect learning. If caught early, most vision issues in children can be corrected providing them a better quality of life.

Since August 2009, Seminole County Public Schools has screened nearly 5,000 students with PediaVision devices, referring approximately 25-30 percent of them to eye care specialists. PediaVision is the only binocular vision device that produces highly accurate vision screenings with instant results for children of any age. The software produces written results and recommendations as to whether or not a subject should be referred to an eye care specialist. Conducted from three feet away, screenings are simple, non-invasive and as easy as taking a picture.

Britt Smith, executive director for exceptional student support services for Seminole County Public Schools, says while school districts in Florida and across the country face intense pressure to improve academic performance, many simply don't realize the severity of undiagnosed vision problems and how they can negatively impact students. He selected PediaVision because of its accuracy, ease of use and the ability to screen large populations of students without having to increase personnel. He urges school districts to re-evaluate current vision screening methods and consider state-of-the-art technology to help kids.

"Traditional vision screening methods are inadequate. PediaVision screening devices offer accurate, instant results allowing thousands of kids across the district to be examined by eye care specialists and reap immediate benefits. We want students to get the help they need and break those barriers. Unfortunately, we all find ways to accommodate vision issues without properly identifying the underlining cause of the problem," said Smith who was shocked when his 15-year old son failed a restricted driver's license vision exam.

"This wasn't an issue of a parent not taking his child to the doctor or lack of medical care access; it was a matter of accurate detection. I would trust the PediaVision device more than any other vision screening method I know of, and I love that we don't have to increase staff to screen more kids," he added.

Esther West, 2nd vice district governor of district 49A, says Alaska's main goal is to eradicate preventable blindness and has been responsible for more than 13,000 screenings in the state. For the last four years, the Lions of Alaska have used 14 devices and they recently ordered 12 more for their community health care center facilities in rural Alaska.

"With PediaVision, we can quickly tell if children have Amblyopia or 'lazy eye' and if we get them treatment early enough, it's curable. If I had to compare PediaVision with our original screener, it's the winner hands down. Before PediaVision, screening was a very cumbersome process because we had to wait for pictures to be interpreted by doctors to get results. With PediaVision, it takes more time to enter the data than it does to get results, and they're very accurate," said West.

She also said that it's very easy to train people how to screen. "If you can type and follow instructions, you can screen with this device. PediaVision is unbelievable. It's absolutely the best thing we've ever worked with." 

West recalls how a PediaVision screening helped a student conquer behavioral problems in the classroom. "He frequently caused trouble because he couldn't see. But nobody knew it. He was trying to take the attention away from himself so people wouldn't know. We screened him and got him glasses. When I went back to the school a few months later, he ran up to me, grabbed my legs and said I was the lady who gave him his eyes." According to national studies, approximately 70 percent of juvenile delinquents have a vision issue.

Wyoming also selected PediaVision for its Lions Early Childhood Vision project to reach large populations of children with developmental disabilities. The project is committed to ensuring all children in the state of Wyoming receive the highest quality eye care. Currently using 19 PediaVision devices, the state can now screen children in rural communities who are typically hard to reach.

Rebecca Allen, project coordinator, said they are thrilled with the device because it allows them to get quick, accurate readings even on the most difficult of children. "Children with developmental disabilities are 5 times more likely to have vision difficulties. In Wyoming, we're working closely with parents and doctors to ensure that kids who are having vision difficulties are quickly identified and can get the help they need in a timely manner. With PediaVision, we trust the screenings. Parents are so ecstatic that they're making immediate appointments for their kids to be seen by the eye doctor. We have very good follow up, and the kids who need help are getting it right away."

PediaVision's CEO David Melnik commented, "We are extremely pleased that schools and community projects across the U.S. have selected PediaVision. They are truly leading the way to bring revolutionary change in vision screening. Eighty percent of a child's learning is visual, so a child's ability to clearly see in the classroom is critical. We would like to encourage all schools, local communities, and national and state legislators across the country to consider new vision screening technology to help prevent vision problems in children."

About PediaVision
PediaVision is dedicated to solving the critical problem of undiagnosed vision problems and transforming the lives of thousands of children each day by helping private medicine and public health systems provide thorough, automated and objective vision screening.

The company was initially founded by a team of optometrists and ophthalmologists. These medical professionals were confronted daily with the impact of permanent vision loss in children.

PediaVision has a proven technology and a management team with medical expertise and a strong track record of transforming industries. For more information about PediaVision, and to help the fight against undiagnosed vision problems in children, please visit www.pediavision.com.

Contact Information

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