NEW YORK–( BUSINESS WIRE )–VisionSpring’s screening methodology has been adopted by the particular World Health Organization’s new open-access Training in Assistive Products (TAP) . TAP equips primary healthcare providers, such as nurses and community health workers, with the skills they need to identify blurry near vision (presbyopia), dispense reading glasses, plus refer for other eye conditions. WHO’s dissemination of this de-medicalized approach to basic vision care represents a major step forward in addressing the global problem of uncorrected blurry vision which affects 1 billion people.
Of the 1 billion dollars people who do not have the particular glasses they need to see clearly; the majority just need a simple pair of reading glasses. To help solve this problem, VisionSpring pioneered an approach in order to deploy the simplest, cheapest technology (reading glasses), using community wellness workers inside countries along with few attention doctors.
Since 2006, its Reading Glasses for Improved Livelihoods (RGIL) program has corrected the particular vision associated with 2 million people. RGIL’s success drove and informed TAP’s Vision Assistive Products module, along with contributions from other NGOs who have replicated the approach.
Dr . Jordan Kassalow, the founder of VisionSpring and co-founder of EYElliance, served while lead technical advisor with regard to vision on the TAP committee and co-authored the reading through glasses module.
Dr. Kassalow explained, “Back in 2006, the idea that age-related blurry eyesight could be treated outside of the particular doctor’s office by community health workers was controversial. People feared that trusting anyone but accredited medical professionals to perform a basic vision screening would be dangerous.
“Therefore, it is significant that the World Health Organization has created a program adopting our once radical methodology to allow community workers to screen poor vision – it highlights how the status quo is changing.
“It doesn’t get more mainstream than earning the imprimatur of WHO and this turns the small initiative with success in certain markets to a globally accepted strategy that offers huge scope to scale. ”
The TAP training will help governments, health companies and other development organizations integrate basic eyesight care into their main care services and accelerate the uptake of reading glasses.
Reading glasses are a powerful tool for social and economic development. They have been shown in order to improve income earning, productivity, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase participation in community and family life.
However , within many low- and middle-income countries, reading through glasses are only available through hospitals, vision centers plus optical shops. Whereas in high-income countries, they are readily available as a consumer good within book stores, pharmacies, and even grocery stores.
De-medicalizing access to reading glasses with the help of TAP will make it easy and convenient regarding millions of people to have their sight checked by health employees and nurses and gain the immediate benefit associated with vision correction.
WHO created Training in Aiding Products like an open-source online learning platform to improve access to assistive technologies, that include reading through glasses in addition in order to walking aids, emergency wheelchairs, and more.
Founded in 2001, VisionSpring is the interpersonal enterprise accelerating the use of eyeglasses in emerging and frontier markets. Our mission is to increase lifelong earning, studying, safety, and well-being via eyeglasses for people vulnerable to poverty. We believe in the wonder of clear eyesight for everyone and envision a world within which all who require glasses will have them to see well and do well simply by 2050. As of 2021, VisionSpring corrected the vision of 8. 7 mil people living on less than $4 per-day, unlocking $1. 8 billion in earnings earning potential. VisionSpring has been recognized for its innovative work, receiving the particular Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship; social entrepreneur fellowships from Draper Richards Kaplan, the Aspen Institute, and the Schwab Foundation; and honors from Globe Bank, Duke University, Fast Company, plus Tribeca Film Festival, among others.