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New handheld device detects amblyopia

To use the technology, the patient fixates on a smiley face while the device simultaneously scans both retinas

young boy with glasses
Getty/monkeybusinessimages
New research published in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus has described a handheld device that detects amblyopia.

The technology is held 14 inches from the eyes while a child fixates on a smiley face and the device scans both retinas simultaneously. The device then calculates a binocularity score, with the test only requiring 2.5 seconds of a child’s attention.

The study involved 300 children between the ages of two and six who were seen by a research associate trained in using the device and a paediatric ophthalmologist who performed a regular eye examination.

The device correctly identified all six cases of amblyopia. It flagged another 45 children as possibly having amblyopia or strabismus who were later determined to have normal vision.

The study authors highlighted: “The device would allow children with amblyopia and/or strabismus to be referred to an eye care specialist as early as two years old. Given its short acquisition time, the paediatric vision scanner can be implemented in a paediatric clinic with minimal impact on workflow.”

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