In the United States, access to eye care often may be taken for granted, but in many developing regions of the world, access to care is sadly lacking.
Through Global Vision 2020, Kevin White, a Marine Corps veteran, has developed USee, a vision-correction kit that he says is a "dial, snap and wear" process toward vision correction. The kits offer free, stylish prescription eyeglasses to people from Mozambique to Afghanistan.
PolyOne Corp. is donating key support as well as materials to White's efforts, helping Global Vision to create the first 3,000 production USee kits for distribution.
In the United States, there is one optometrist for every 8,000 people. In developing regions, it is one for every 1 million people. White estimates that 2.5 billion people have simple vision issues but lack access to eye care.
White's USee kits include an eye chart, snap-in prescription lenses and frames. The patient can walk away with glasses in less than an hour for a total cost of less than $5 per pair. The kit includes 500 frames and 500 pairs of lenses.
By following directions included in the kit, individuals such as teachers can perform a visual acuity test and deliver prescriptive eyeglasses.
White sketched out his plan for the USee device on a napkin, and that is where PolyOne came on board in an effort to bring his vision into a reality.
According to Brian Everett, global director for IQ Design at PolyOne, White developed the idea after seeing the need for improved eye care while stationed in Africa.