“The doctor told me that soon I will be able to see without my glasses!” said one of the children participating in the Mobile Vision Project who has amblyopia. Sometimes called “lazy eye,” amblyopia is the most common cause of vision impairment in childhood. Detected early, amblyopia is treatable. Left untreated, however, it can cause lifelong disability.
Qualcomm, through its Wireless Reach initiative, collaborated with China Children and Teenager’s Fund (CCTF) and Xi’an Kingtone Information Technology Co., Ltd., on the Mobile Vision Project to help close the gaps in care for rural communities in China and preserve the sight of children affected by this condition.
For our commitment to this project, CCTF honored Qualcomm as an Outstanding Contributor during CCTF’s China Children Charity Award ceremony, held December 9, at The Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing. More than 7,000 people, including government officials, business leaders and entertainers, attended the gala event. Also in attendance were approximately 100 children who have benefitted from CCTF’s vision aid project, including several from the area where the Mobile Vision project has been implemented. As a result of the project, these children have successfully recovered from amblyopia.
Launched in October 2011 in Hengshui City, Hebei Province, the Mobile Vision Project utilizes a customized 3G-enabled mobile application, Snapdragon™-enabled smartphones, and Internet-ready PCs and laptops to extend resources to China’s medically underserved areas and assist doctors in the screening and treatment of children with amblyopia. Clinicians can now access digital patient records remotely via a 3G network. They use the smartphones to access the Internet and learn more about ophthalmology and how to communicate with experts online.
A few months after the launch of the project, I had the opportunity to hear from a few of the participating clinicians about the project's impacts. Ms. Kefang Li, an Ophthalmologist at Hengshui Second People’s Hospital reported that, “after encountering a child with amblyopia, we can immediately enter the data via our mobile phones, and we reference the record at any time in follow-up treatments.” And, Ms. Qingye Shu, a clinician at Damasen Public Health Center in Hengshui City, shared that the project has the potential to improve diagnosis and treatment techniques during the annual pre-kindergarten screenings.
Today, 94 township-level clinics regularly use the system in their daily medical practice. Of the 17,655 eye exams collected to date, 2,772 have resulted in a diagnosis of amblyopia. The project serves approximately 400,000 children and teenagers up to age of 14.
This project is enabling health workers in China’s community clinics to treat more patients efficiently and effectively. We believe 3G connectivity can improve people’s access to health care, particularly within underserved communities, and we are committed to continuing to bring advanced technology to where it’s most needed.
Close collaboration between Qualcomm and partnering organizations has made the Mobile Vision Project a success. Because of this project, many children have a better chance of living without a vision disability.
For more information on Wireless Reach, please visit our website.
For more information on the Mobile Vision Project, please visit: here.