By Jerred Ziegler
Between two and four percent of children have an eye misalignment, a condition which causes blurred vision and cannot be corrected after the age of 10. The current testing method requires high-level technical expertise and specialized equipment, but Columbus-based startup Sight4All is hoping to change that. Their solution is a smartphone app which can test for misalignment.
The app, called TESA (The Eye Scan App), is the first to be able to estimate a person’s eyeglass prescription along with eye alignment. Invented by Dr. Melissa Bailey of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, the technology will give eye care professionals an easy, accurate way to enhance and aid the precision of their current eye exams.
“We want to help eye doctors get better results than ever before,” said Jessica Murrer, head of communication at Sight4All. “We’re not here to replace any existing technology, just to make sure that consumers are getting the most accurate eye exams possible.”
One of the biggest advantages of Sight4All’s technology is its low cost. This will allow eye care professionals both in the United States and in third world countries to use TESA to give their patients more effective eye exams.
“The big machines you see in doctors’ offices here in the U.S. are not realistic to take to impoverished communities overseas,” said Murrer. “That’s why this portable app is so exciting – it will change the world.”
Sight4All received a $100,000 Ohio Third Frontier grant in March, which allowed the company to take TESA technology to the next level. The company is continuously updating the app to make its misalignment technology as accurate as possible. In September they will travel to Las Vegas to demo their technology at a trade show.
“The Ohio Third Frontier grant gave us the boost we needed to move forward with software development and accelerating the company,” said Murrer.
Sight4All CEO Steve Wallace and Dr. Bailey are both graduates of The Ohio State University and intend to use their company to create jobs in Ohio. There are currently three full-time Sight4All employees, with plans to expand to 10 within three to five years.
“We are hoping that people join us in our business mission of creating a positive impact for people around the world,” said Murrer. “The support in Ohio, both from Ohio Third Frontier and The Ohio State University, is unbelievable. There is a strong sense of community and a real push to help new, innovative businesses thrive.”