The most tragic thing about so many diseases is their preventability. According to a CDC report from May 3 – week 18 in the official flu season – nearly 10,000 citizens have been admitted to the hospital with influenza since October 2013. These numbers would not have been nearly as high had people across the country – particularly those with greater susceptibility, like the elderly and immune-compromised – preempted the onset of symptoms by getting a vaccine. Sometimes, people don't get the immunizations they need out of sheer laziness. But for many other people, it's a lack of resources and easy medical accessibility that impedes a preventive hospital visit.
The enterprise cloud provides an endless array of benefits when it comes to enhancing the depth and breadth of service that healthcare systems can provide. On this blog we've provided many examples of such medical sector advancements, including discussing the expansion of the healthcare cloud market as well as the security to both patients and doctors in a private cloud platform.
Now, the enterprise cloud is undertaking an ambitious new goal: curing childhood blindness.
Tackling blindness in the cloud
If you went to school in the United States – or any other first-world country, for that matter – you perhaps remember a vision specialist visiting your elementary school classroom and conducting some preliminary tests. Unfortunately, this is a service that most of the world does not enjoy, and according to 1997 statistics from the World Health Organization, 45 percent of the Earth's blind children experienced their deficiency due to entirely treatable ailments.
Nearly two decades later, those statistics aren't much better. According to CloudTweaks, 48 percent of children under 12 have never received an eye examination, despite preadolescence being the period when many vision issues arise. More alarmingly, up to 25 percent of schoolchildren are actively suffering from vision disorders that are both undetected and untreated. Clearly, something has to change, and as it turns out, the answer may well lie in the cloud.
According to CloudTweaks, a piece of software called VisionQuest is working to provide cloud-based vision screenings to schools worldwide. According to its official website, VisionQuest was born out of a simple idea: "Undiagnosed vision problems lead to lifelong consequences in health, psychosocial and academic development." From this premise, the company devised a technology that is as effective as it is transportable. What sets VisionQuest apart from other more traditional means of vision evaluation is the ease with which it can be delivered to areas in need. That is because the software comes in the form of a lightweight headpiece that does the same work as the clunky old machines of yesteryear.
After putting on the VisionQuest headpiece, the child being tested is instructed to interact with a videogame that plays out before their eyes. As they – or, more precisely, their eyes – interact with the game, professionals are able to analyze their results and determine if they have a vision deficiency. Once each child's screening is completed, the information from that session is sent to a cloud repository, where it can be easily accessed by other care providers. The mobility of the technology coupled with its cloud connectedness makes it a viable solution to the lack of vision care that can lead healthy kids to blindness.
Perhaps the greatest virtue of the technology's connection to the cloud is that a doctor does not have to be available for the tests – they can simply access the results from a remote location. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine a future where a VisionQuest screening apparatus is just part and parcel of any school, as ubiquitous as a blackboard.