24% of American Dont Have Vision Care: Here's Why – Benzinga – Benzinga

Vision is the most cherished of the five senses. Losing your eyesight can have a tremendously debilitating impact on your day-to-day life. Unfortunately, vision impairment is an all-too-common reality plaguing millions of Americans. 
In one of the richest countries in the world with some of the most advanced medical equipment, millions reportedly suffer from largely treatable, undiagnosed vision impairments. 
Nearly 12 million Americans ages 40 and older have some type of vision impairment. But adults aren’t the only group affected. Up to 1 in 17 preschool children have an undiagnosed and untreated vision disorder. Another 93 million American adults are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months. 
The surprising figures can be attributed to a variety of causes, with diabetes and poor health being major contributors. However, lack of adequate access to vision care also seems to be a serious problem. In the United States, nearly 24% of counties are without an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Existing technology required to screen a person’s vision is often expensive and takes up a lot of space. To properly equip an ophthalmologist or optometrist office, the initial cost can be upwards of $150,000. 
The necessary machinery can weigh up to 150 pounds and take up multiple rooms. Paying a certified technician to maintain the equipment is another expense. These requirements can make it difficult to start or maintain a vision practice. Primary care may also struggle to assemble the necessary resources to perform comprehensive vision exams. 
All these factors could also be compounded when it comes to lower socio-economic areas. Poor Americans are often at greater risk for visual impairment and a higher prevalence of eye diseases. 
In 2018, five medical students set out to make quality vision screening more accessible to traditionally underserved groups using advanced digital technologies. They founded Retina Technologies Inc., whose reported mission centers on bringing comprehensive digital vision screening to virtually any community, especially those critically lacking in eye doctors. 
Retina Technologies says its approach is to equip primary care physicians (PCPs) with the technology needed to conduct eye screenings in a fast, cost-effective way. The company states that its system — OcuVue™ — allows for fast, functional visual exams and retinal imaging within 15 minutes. Proprietary algorithms work to process patient data in seconds, delivering simple referral recommendations to specialists when visual abnormalities are detected.
Retina Technologies’ OcuVue™ might provide an affordable end-to-end vision-screening solution for PCPs, vision-care providers and other specialists, enabling them to more effectively treat and prevent vision impairments. Retina has already emerged as a player in the space – alongside the likes of Topcon Corp. TOPCF and Carl Zeiss Meditec AG CZMWY, and currently has a regulatory CF campaign live on StartEngine for interested investors.
Learn more about Retina Technologies and improvements in vision care accessibility at retina-technologies.com
Featured photo by David Travis on Unsplash
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