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Video game screens child eyesight deficits in real time.

A video game can screen for vision problems in children.
A video game can screen for vision problems in children.

Undetected vision disorders is the fourth leading public health crisis afflicting children. Vision problems may affect their ability to learn and, in some cases, result in permanent visual loss. Identifying children with vision problems is essential, yet an estimated 80% of children do not receive a vision examination prior to entering school.

In response to this public health dilemma, children’s eye surgeon, James O’Neil, M.D and technology developer Richard Tirendi created EyeSpy 20/20™. EyeSpy 20/20 is a video game that takes a child on a virtual treasure hunt during which their entire visual system is assessed.

To maximize accuracy and reliability, EyeSpy 20/20 employs sophisticated software algorithms that measure the child’s responses and automatically adjust the screening process in real time. The outcome is a vision screening solution that, when administered by lay personnel, mimics the results of certified technicians.

By evaluating visual acuity, color vision and depth perception, the EyeSpy 20/20 vision screening system detects the most prevalent childhood vision disorders. These include amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye misalignment), cataracts, and focusing problems (nearsightedness, extreme farsightedness, and astigmatism). EyeSpy 20/20 safely and securely stores the screening results and generates a vision report at the conclusion of the screening in English or Spanish.

“Automated testing ensures consistent and standardized test administration, eliminates the need for large networks of trained personnel, minimizes costs, and facilitates data collection necessary for reporting test results and emiological analysis,” explains Tirendi. “By integrating recent advances in computer, Internet, and video game technology, it is possible to solve our nation’s vision screening dilemma.” Vision screenings are the most cost-effective way to detect vision problems in children, and it is estimated there is a $162 return on investment for every dollar spent. EyeSpy 20/20 has been used to screen nearly 250,000 children but there are millions more that need to be screened annually.
“Working with VisionQuest 20/20 is in many ways an extension of what I do every day as
a children’s eye doctor,” says Dr. O’Neil. “My goal is to help make certain children can see. The
difference is, instead of interacting with one child at a time, VisionQuest 20/20’s program allows
me to impact the lives of children on a much more significant scale.

VisionQuest 20/20 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children from the devastating impact
of undetected vision disorders. Founded by pediatric ophthalmologist James O’Neil, M.D. and leading
technology developer Richard Tirendi, the idea started as a concept, whereby children could get their vision screened while playing a videogame. With EyeSpy 20/20, schools can screen children by having them play a fun and interactive video game that detects vision problems accurately and reliably when there is still time for corrective action.

EyeSpy 20/20 data is easily incorporated into data management systems used by school health professionals to track and monitor health records of students and determine whether screenings have resulted in professional examination and care. VisionQuest 20/20 is committed to working with other technology providers and non-profit organizations to cross-collaborate on bringing high technology solutions to vision screenings. For more information visit: or call 888-MY-VQ2020.

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