….a two minute read….
With 2.5 Billion people in need of eyeglasses, there is plenty of work to go around. And because approximately 200+ million of those people in need of glasses are children it is of the utmost importance that we expand our reach to them as best we can while maintaining medical standards.
This is where our Advisory Committee member, Dr. Bruce Moore comes in….read his impressive Bio here: https://www.neco.edu/faculty/member/bruce-moore-od
Bruce has become a stalwart supporter of Global Vision 2020 and has helped build our network in the world of Optometry. This is important because although the world of humanitarian outreach for vision care has the same basic goal – to help people see more clearly – the journey for self refraction, dialing in your own prescription, has had its detractors over the years.
It is because of open minded, subject matter experts like Bruce – who have the respect of their field – that self refraction – and the USee specifically – are getting the recognition they are.
(Here is Bruce – center – with GV2020’s Director of Finance / Operation – Stephen Moody (left), and Executive Director J. Kevin White (right) at the IAPB National Summit in DC this summer)
So, when Bruce told Kevin about the opportunity for clinical trials to test the efficacy on USee diagnosis with children younger than 12, Kevin agreed wholeheartedly. The research team just happens to be located in Vietnam. Therefore USees were shipped off to the Hanoi Medical University’s and Dr. Minh Anh Tran started building the team.
The two weeks of research begin tomorrow. Kevin was invited to help train the students and doctors on how to properly use the USee. This is of the utmost importance. Understanding the protocols we use when screening for adults is just the beginning. The researchers will then provide screening opportunities around the city (in schools) to see how best to adapt – if needed – for children to self refract accurately using the USee. This research will also include a school for children with Autism.
The USee is a simple diagnostic tool that works wonders really, but we would be less than stellar if we did not do our best to eliminate any doubt that children are correcting their vision as accurately as adults. We cannot, in good faith, go out into the field and deploy a device that is below standard for a portion of the population that needs vision care.
Finding the right way to do it will take time, but we’d rather take that time and do it right, or not do it at all.
Although we are hopeful an adaption to the protocol will likely produce an applicable visual acuity screening for children under 12 – simply because the research is being done methodically and by experts in the field of pediatric optometry, we know that it may take time and we may hit many barriers, but we’re in this for the long haul.
Because Kevin is there to train the doctors and students on the USee protocol he’ll have the opportunity to observe some of the work. It is a distinct honor for Kevin and Bruce to be involved in this important work, and Global Vision 2020 is proud that our device may hopefully turn a corner in visual acuity testing for younger children anytime and anywhere.