New technology helps OPS students see clearly

Published: May. 13, 2016 at 8:03 PM CDT
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Six-hundred-fifty Omaha Public Schools' students have been receiving free eye exams and free eyeglasses through the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.

Earlier this week, the students had their eyes tested with a new piece of technology that is small, portable and much more accurate than the old read the eye chart eye test. The new technology is basically an iPhone. All you have to do is look into the device and it will give you a highly accurate prescription.

"So we're not depending on a child to give the results, we're depending on the device so that will give us a highly accurate prescription and take that human factor away," said Huy Tran with Smart Vision Labs.

The Svone Auto Refractor by Smart Vision Labs is also portable. "Now we can take this to any area such as screenings, nursing homes in remote areas that have no access to eye care," said Tran. "It's highly portable and since it's based on an eye phone we can send our information up to a cloud where someone else can look at that information, anywhere in the world."

"We're doing it for the first time here in Omaha and we'll be rolling this out across the nation as part of this program," said Julie Maslov with One Sight Smart Vision Lab.

Officials say they will also train school nurses and health administrators how to use the new technology to improve the accuracy and efficiency of vision screenings in schools.

The week-long screening that began Monday has wrapped up. It was led by Building Healthy Futures, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the health of underprivileged youth in Omaha. The clinic is part of a long-term strategic partnership between One Sight, Building Healthy Futures and Omaha Public Schools, all to establish two permanent school-based vision centers to serve OPS students.