When insurance firms launched social media initiatives, the results were rewarding.
LAKE MARY, Fla., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In late 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a statement describing the use of automated vision-screening technology, also known as instrument-based vision screening. With the AAP's annual conference coming to Orlando (Oct. 26-29), PediaVision, maker of the Spot vision screener, is highlighting the success of two Orlando-area pediatric practices, Middleton Pediatrics and Altamonte Pediatric Associates, that are using its device to reap the benefits described in the AAP policy statement.
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"Medicine has always been slow and skeptical in terms of some things, but Spot has been such a win for us and our patients," said Dr. Michael Middleton, who deployed Spot in 2011. "Parents almost without exception agree to pay when insurance does not cover it. When I get in the room with them, they say 'Wow, that's really cool.' It gives parents a sense of confidence to assess their child's vision before the child is verbally able to express what's happening."
Although his office has only been using the new device for about four months, Dr. Brian Harris of Altamonte Pediatric Associates, a five-year customer of PediaVision, is also enthusiastic. "For preverbal and preschool kids in general, we couldn't find an accurate way to screen them before PediaVision," he said. "It's the first machine to give us accurate results."
A major reason for screening very young children is detecting amblyopic risk factors. Amblyopia, also known as "lazy eye," is described in the AAP statement as "a neural deficit in vision that is estimated to be present in 1% to 4% of children." The condition usually affects only one eye and, if untreated, worsens and can result in permanent loss.
Since early diagnosis increases the chances of complete recovery, eye experts recommend that children undergo eye examinations starting at six months of age. However, as the AAP statement states, "In children younger than 3 years, few professionals can reliably determine acuity in each eye by using a vision chart. Therefore, for younger children, the preferred methodology is instrument-based detection of risk factors for amblyopia."
"Spot improved our referrals to pediatric ophthalmologists because one, we're able to be more targeted and two, we can send printouts with patients to the ophthalmologist," said Middleton. "Now they appreciate that we send the kids. Before, too few kids were going."
Harris had been piloting the device in the main office of Altamonte's three-office system, but plans on expanding its use. "We're so happy with the device, we've decided to purchase two additional devices for our satellite offices," he said.
PediaVision, inventor of the award-winning Spot vision screener, is dedicated to solving the vital health issue of undiagnosed vision problems and transforming the lives of thousands of children each day. A child with an undetected or untreated vision problem is more likely to develop social or emotional problems. Thus, a child's vision problems can affect not only their own learning, but that of their peers. PediaVision is committed to assisting children in reaching their full potential by providing an objective and accurate vision-screening device for public and private healthcare providers.
Supported by ophthalmologists, optometrists, scientists and leading technology innovators, the Spot vision screener is a breakthrough technology and represents what vision screening should be. For more information, including how to order Spot, please visit www.pediavision.com.
 American Academy of Pediatrics. (October 2012) Instrument-Based Pediatric Vision Screening Policy Statement. Pediatrics, 130;983.
 Charles E. Basch. (2010). Teachers College, Columbia University. A Research Initiative of the Campaign for Educational Equity Teachers College, Columbia University.
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