The US FDA has cleared REBIScan’s Pediatric Vision Scanner (PVS)—a handheld device that helps physicians screen for amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and strabismus (misaligned eyes) in young children. Such technology is a boon to the medical community, REBIScan officials say, since amblyopia and strabismus are easiest to treat in preschoolers.

“One in 20 children is silently losing sight from an eye condition that cannot be seen by parents and is not easily diagnosed by pediatricians,” says David Hunter, MD, PhD, ophthalmologist in chief at Boston Children’s Hospital, who codeveloped the PVS. “This is indeed exciting news for the visual health of children around the world.”

Each year, hundreds of thousands of children permanently lose sight due to lack of detection of amblyopia and strabismus, yet with early detection they can be treated with glasses or an eye patch.

Hunter says it’s a shame that children today lose sight simply for lack of treatment. “With the PVS, we will have a tool that can flag these kids and save their sight,” he says, adding that independent studies have shown the accuracy of the PVS as high as 94%. “This far exceeds what we have seen from products currently on the market,” Hunter maintains.