WRITER: MEGAN HAYDEN
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8037; fax (319) 335-8034
Cost-effective screening device tested by UI ophthalmologist
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Early vision screening can be an important step in preventing
serious eye conditions in young children. A researcher at the University of
Iowa College of Medicine has tested a device that may make screenings easier
and more accessible in the future.
Dr. William Scott, UI professor of ophthalmology, has tested a screening
device designed to detect vision disorders in young children. This device,
to be used by pediatricians, family practitioners and public health officials,
tests for potential eye abnormalities in children that could lead to more
serious problems in the future.
Scott conducted a study on the effectiveness of a device called the PhotoScreener.
Developed by Medical Technology,Inc. in Lancaster, Pa., this device is used
to detect amblyogenic factors in children. Amblyopia, a common eye disorder
among children, affects 3 percent to 5 percent of the population. Early detection
of amblyogenic factors, such as misalignment of the eye, can lead to the prevention
of more serious results, such as lazy eye. If amblyogenic factors are detected,
treatment can soon follow.
Scott screened 1,003 children between 6 months and 5 years old who had no
previously detected eye disorders. "The MTI PhotoScreener has proven
to be a painless, rapid, accurate and relatively inexpensive process,"
Scott says. Scott's study was funded by the Children's Miracle Network Telethon.
The most significant aspect of this technology is the combination of low
cost and high accuracy, Scott says. Children can be screened for approximately
$14 to $20. "It is our job as health care providers to try to reduce
the cost of medicine and make it more available to people. Now we have a device
that can do this," Scott says. "More physicians and patients are
learning that such a device exists and is effective."
The PhotoScreener is currently being used by vision screening groups, ophthalmologists,
and pediatricians throughout the United States.