Hill-Rom (NYSE: HRC) announced new enhancements to its Welch Allyn Spot™ Vision Screener, enabling the device to quickly and effectively screen for vision issues in adult patients with pupil sizes as small as 3 mm.

Spot Vision Screener is a handheld, portable device that makes vision screening as easy as taking a picture. The Wi-Fi® enabled screener allows clinicians to quickly detect vision issues in patients as young as six months of age through those who are senior citizens. The device was initially designed to improve early detection of amblyopic risk factors that lead to vision loss and blindness in children. Uncorrected vision problems can impact a child’s development and learning, and can lead to permanent vision loss. One in 20 children is at risk for permanent vision loss in the U.S.1

The prevalence of vision loss increases with age, affecting 37 million Americans 50 and older, and 25 percent of those 80 and older2. With Spot Vision Screener’s latest software update, eye care professionals and physicians can leverage the device’s unique features to measure vision risk among patients with pupils as small as 3 mm3 – a size common among adults.

According to Alton Shader, president of Hill-Rom’s Front Line Care business, this latest enhancement to Spot Vision Screener arose from customers’ demand for an application adapted to the unique needs of the adult, and specifically the senior, population.

“Our Vision for All efforts led us to make Spot Vision Screener more powerful, enabling clinicians to more accurately assess vision in a greater range of patients,” said Shader. “The updated Spot Vision Screener software will help us advance our efforts to prevent loss of sight across the pediatric, adult and adult-senior populations.”

Clinical evidence shows that using Spot Vision Screener can help to dramatically reduce the time required to test vision over traditional screening tools4. Recently, clinicians at TianJin Medical University Eye Hospital in TianJin, China, screened 35,000 individuals over 20 days using 12 Spot Vision Screener devices5.

The device screens both eyes at once from a three-foot distance. The touch-screen display allows for one-touch activation, simple management of patient data entry, and easy configuration for both vision screening and autorefraction applications, which are performed simultaneously. There are an estimated 15,000 Spot Vision Screener devices currently in use worldwide.

The latest software update, which was announced this week at the Japanese Ophthalmological Society Conference in Osaka, Japan, is available for download at no charge to current device owners. Newly purchased devices will include the updated software.

Spot Vision Screener is part of a portfolio of patient-centered systems pioneered under Hill-Rom’s Welch Allyn brand, which together increase clinician and patient access to vision-saving exams. The flexible vision care portfolio of camera technologies also includes an advanced handheld fundus camera, end-to-end HIPAA compliant software, and a robust suite of reporting tools.