QuickSee handheld autorefractor can dramatically increase access to accurate eyeglass prescriptions, study finds
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Device designed to meet the global burden of uncorrected refractive error

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, 21 JUNE 2021—A new paper published by researchers at the Aravind Eye Institute in India, Johns Hopkins University, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Institute found that eyeglasses made from QuickSee handheld autorefractor measurements were accepted equally to those made from subjective refraction measurements. The findings indicate QuickSee could be used to radically expand access to eyeglasses in low resource settings, where there are insufficient professionals and clinical equipment to meet the demand for accurate prescriptions. 

The paper published in Ophthalmology, “Investigation of the accuracy of a low-cost, portable, autorefractor to provide well-tolerated eyeglass prescriptions: a randomized crossover trial,” concluded that patients accepted eyeglasses made from QuickSee measurements equally to those made from subjective refraction. PlenOptika, the maker of QuickSee, assisted in study design but its execution, analysis, and reporting were independent of the company. 

The study authors suggest that due to its accuracy and portability, QuickSee can help solve the need of uncorrected refractive error in communities that lack highly trained professionals and expensive, immoble clinical equipment, especially outside urban centers. 

Uncorrected refractive error is a matter of major global concern, including wealthy nations. A report published by The Lancet in February 2021, “The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020,” estimated that over 1 billion people worldwide had distance- or near-vision impairment, resulting in at least $410 billion in productivity loss annually. The authors also highlighted the impact of poor vision on quality of life, education, and workforce opportunities, noting that vision correction would support a number of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is the challenge PlenOptika set out to solve. 

“These encouraging findings support our belief that the global burden of vision impairment can be met with innovative approaches and technology, not only in low- and middle-income countries, but also in wealthy countries like the US where vision care disparities persist,” said Shivang Dave, PhD, CEO of PlenOptika and one of QuickSee’s inventors. He and his colleagues in PlenOptika, Daryl Lim, PhD, Eduardo Lage, PhD, and Nicholas Durr, PhD, invented the technology while researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with the Regional Government of Madrid. QuickSee development was also supported in part by grants from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. 

“When we discovered that vision impairment was such a massive problem globally, we were surprised to learn that the bottleneck wasn’t the accessibility of eyeglasses, it was the accessibility of accurate prescriptions,” said Lim, PlenOptika’s Chief Operating Officer. “QuickSee was our solution—a technology that can amplify the impact of vision and healthcare providers where it’s needed the most.”

In wealthy nations where patients have access to licensed health care providers, QuickSee’s technology has also helped eye doctors provide on-site care, such as in nursing homes, correctional facilities, and community health centers. Even large eye health centers are using QuickSee to manage large patient volumes efficiently.

Lage, PlenOptika’s Chief Technology Officer, noted that impact in global health was QuickSee’s central design objective. “Portable, durable, easy to use, and affordable, all without sacrificing clinical quality, that was our mission,” he said. “It is gratifying that independent research affirms QuickSee’s capability to achieve this.”

To date, QuickSee has been used to measure over three million people in 45 countries, and was found in prior peer-reviewed studies to produce measurements that strongly agree with subjective refraction. 

“Our goal with QuickSee is nothing short of making accurate autorefraction accessible to everyone, everywhere, enhancing their opportunities and enabling the wonder of clear vision,” said Dave. “We hope this research gives vision care professionals, healthcare organizations, and NGOs the confidence that QuickSee will be instrumental in their work to dramatically increase access to vision correction.”