New app protects childrens vision

Submitted by KidsVisionCheck.

We believe we can change this. Our group of concerned parents and doctors is on a mission to reduce childhood blindness by 25% in five years. If more children receive the vision health care they deserve, they’ll be better able to lead fulfilling lives.

Community and school vision screenings are only accessible to children on an annual basis, and during the pandemic years, they weren’t available at all. Many kids around the world just don’t get their vision checked. Many visual problems that need correcting are too far advanced before they are detected. Our team felt strongly there was something more we could do to empower parents to protect their children’s vision whenever they wanted and on their own terms.

After extensive testing using data from several years of community service vision screenings with multiple Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs, we recently launched a first-of-its-kind vision screening app for smartphones, called KidsVisionCheck. The app is available for free download in the App store and the Google Play store. Now any parent can check their child’s vision health simply by taking a picture.

One of our founders’ daughters was photographed when she was 1 year old and, in the picture, the red reflex of her pupils was different in each eye. Her mother noticed this and took her to an eye doctor who diagnosed amblyopia and treated the toddler successfully.

We all have taken hundreds of pictures of our children and grandchildren. If we take a closer look at the pictures taken with a flash, we can tell if the red-eye coloration is the same in each of the eyes. If it’s different, there may be something wrong and the child should see an eye doctor.

KidsVisionCheck disables the smartphone camera’s pre-flash and allows a standard flash picture to be taken. This results in a red reflex of the subject’s pupils

After collecting thousands of these pictures and correlating them with professional vision screeners costing several thousands of dollars each, we used machine learning to create and train an algorithm to review each picture and determine if the subject should be referred to an eye doctor or not.

KidsVisionCheck essentially compares each pupil’s image with the database and then compares the symmetry of both pupils together for a more accurate assessment. The results are provided within seconds and the user is offered a directory of local eye care professionals to consult if necessary.

It is our hope to continue to refine this app with user feedback and to make it available to a worldwide audience. If you would like more information about KidsVisionCheck, you can see the website at or email

Download from the App Store or Play Store by scanning the QR code

A child goes blind every 60 seconds (World Health Organization). A local group wants to change that!

Friday Harbor, WA. – Parents, grandparents, and childcare providers are invited to discover KidsVisionCheck, an app that uses the latest technology to identify many common childhood eye diseases and vision issues. Launched October 17, 2022, the KidsVisionCheck app is a passion project of islanders Gary Franklin, Bob Williams, and Alan Bush.

“Children are very adaptable. They assume that what they see and how they see is normal, even if their vision is problematic. Parents believe their child’s pediatrician or school will perform vision screening,” says Chief Medical Officer Robert Williams, MD. “While some pediatricians and schools may screen for issues, many fail to adequately identify the subtle signs that indicate an eye disease or disorder.”

The KidsVisionCheck vision screening app is available for download to iOS and Android devices at no cost. Parents can then use the phone’s built-in camera to take a flash photo of their child in a dimly lit room. The resulting red-eye photograph will detect potential issues that can then be confirmed and treated by an eyecare professional. The app includes a directory of local eyecare providers.

“My daughter was two when her mother took a flash picture of her and noticed her two pupils had a different red-reflection. It didn’t look right so we took her to an eye doctor who treated her for amblyopia or lazy eye,” explains Gary. “Nowadays, more kids are looking at “screens” on phones and tablets. Computer screen syndrome or digital eye strain is very real and can negatively impact a child’s vision. The sooner and more often children can get their vision tested, the sooner any appropriate corrective measures can be taken.”

For more information, visit the KidsVisionCheck website at or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Questions? Contact