GoCheck Kids, a health care technology company funded in part by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, has launched the first-ever, FDA-registered iPhone app that detects vision impairments in children under the age of six with a simple photo.
“Many important eye diseases of childhood – amblyopia; near- and far-sightedness; and even retinoblastoma, a rare but fatal childhood cancer – are not diagnosed because they are usually invisible to parents and pediatricians, and because equipment to detect them has been prohibitively expensive,” said David Huang, co-creator of GoCheck Kids. “Today, we are leveraging the iPhone’s mass production to make early vision screening affordable for every pediatrician.”
While vision impairment is the most prevalent disabling condition among U.S. children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of vision impairment can be prevented or cured with early detection.
“The frequent emails we receive from grateful pediatricians, galvanize us to make early vision-screening universally affordable,” said Kevon Saber, CEO of GoCheck Kids. “Current methods of detection are prohibitively expensive and are, therefore, not used widely. That’s why we raced to develop the GoCheck Kids iPhone app – putting powerful preventive technology into the hands of those charged with protecting our children. Our mission is to screen 20 million children by 2020 because we believe every child deserves to see what he or she is capable of achieving.”
GoCheck Kids’ technology is used by more than 2,500 pediatricians, who have screened more than 650,000 children and detected more than 35,000 children with risk factors for vision impairments – with a Windows Mobile app. Three studies have clinically validated the accuracy of the Windows and iPhone apps.
Depending on the number of app subscriptions and the iPhone model pediatricians and hospitals are using, customers will have no upfront costs and will pay between $80 and $129 per month for unlimited screenings. However, pediatricians and hospitals can try the iPhone and app for free.
To use the GoCheck Kids software, pediatricians and hospitals receive iPhones with the app that connect to their electronic health records (EHR). In the app, a pediatrician selects a patient, takes a photo and sends the image to the patient’s EHR. The app analyzes how light refracts off the patient’s eyes to identify nearsightedness, farsightedness or variance, and sends a report to the pediatrician to share with the patient, if needed. Since the system is cloud-based, pictures can be remotely reviewed by clinical specialists at any time.