Researchers from the University of Tennessee Space Institute are developing a device which should make eye exams in children a whole lot simpler. The device is called the Dynamic Ocular Evaluation System (DOES) and it can screen the eyes for abnormalities, while the children watch a cartoon or play a computer game. Here’s how it works:
“DOES is low-cost, high-quality, and operator- and child-friendly. It takes about a minute to train someone to use it. The test is done as the child watches a three-minute cartoon or plays a computer game. Infrared light is used to analyze the binocular condition and the assessment is reported on-site within a minute. Neither eye dilation nor verbal response is required.
At the beginning of the cartoon, a three-second comprehensive test screens for binocular refractive risks, high-order aberration, scattering, ocular alignment, and significant neural problems. The subsequent dynamic test searches for less significant signs of abnormal ocular alignment, neural responses, amblyopia, and—in the future—mental statuses that include dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and autism. The images and results are digitally recorded and can be electronically transmitted to specialists for referral if necessary.”
Good vision screening in children can detect all kinds of vision disorders. If unnoticed, these disorders can lead to learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Currently the researchers are testing how the results of DOES compare against traditional eye exams. In any case, they already have the industry interested in taking the device to market.