Pediatric vision test GoCheck Kids launches for iPhone

The FDA-registered, HIPAA-compliant app looks to offer pediatricians a lower-cost alternative to purpose-built screening devices.
By Dave Muoio
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Gobiquity Mobile Health (formerly iCheck Health Connection) has launched an iPhone-compatible version of GoCheck Kids, its smartphone-based vision impairment photoscreener.

Previously available only as a Windows mobile app for a Nokia phone, the FDA-registered software allows pediatricians and other healthcare professionals to screen children aged 6 years and younger for amblyopia without. Designed as a low-cost alternative to dedicated screening hardware, which can cost a practice thousands of dollars to purchase, GoCheck Kids is available through a monthly subscription either as a downloadable app or on a pre-loaded iPhone.

“Vision disorders are the number one most prevalent disabling conditions among US children. That’s also true for many other countries, and a lot of the reason why prevalence is so high is that most of the vision disorders are actually invisible to parents, physicians and teachers,” Kevon Saber, CEO of Gobiquity, told MobiHealthNews. “Kids are not getting caught early enough for the issues to be treated. These are issues that keep kids from seeing well in the classroom, issues that lead to blindness, … and then there are even fatal retinal cancers. Fortunately those are really rare, but [for] the first two groups of issues you really want to catch these kids by five years old, because after five the efficacy of treatment declines rapidly.”

After integrating with the provider’s EHR system, users select the patient’s profile in the GoCheck Kids app and take a single photo of the patient’s eyes. Afterward, the app automatically sends the image to a patient’s EHR, and generates a sharable report with the patient’s results.

Saber noted that the cloud-based service also allows providers to view the images and results remotely, if need be. The iOS version of the GoCheck Kids is similar to the prior Windows mobile app version, he said, but benefits from “lots of powerful technology advancements that leverage the iPhone’s hardware and operating system, [and] ultimately makes the experience faster and smoother for our customers.”

GoCheck Kids has been clinically validated in three separate clinical trials. The latest of these, published just last week in the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, examined the Windows mobile app version’s performance in 6,310 in-office screenings and found a positive predictive rate of 68 percent, which the authors wrote is “comparable with other commercial objective screeners.”

Currently, GoCheck Kids has been employed by roughly 3,500 pediatric providers to screen more than 500,000 children annually, Saber said. To date, the tool has been used for more than 700,000 screens, during which 36,000 patients were flagged with risk factors.

Following a 40-day free trial, Gobiquity offers the app as a subscription service with unlimited uses. The price ranges from $80 to $129 monthly based on whether a customer prefers to purchase the service as a downloadable app or as a dedicated device. Outside of the larger providers who may already be subscribing to multiple app-based services, Saber said that most of the company’s customer’s opt for the more expensive option.

“We usually ship them an iPhone because they don’t want to usually deal with all the HIPAA implications themselves, they’d rather just trust that we’re doing that,” Saber said. “The phone arrives, and they do a quick training they can do on their own time at their own pace by going to our training website, or if they want to talk to us we can walk them through it live and answer questions. Then they start screening and submit the screens to the insurance of the respective children.”

GoCheck Kids was co-created by Dr. David Huang, one of the creators of the optical coherence tomography technology upon which the screen is based. Recently the screening tool was named the winner of the Impact Pediatric Pitch Competition at SXSW, as judged by representatives from eight US children’s hospitals including Boston Children’s Hospital and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“We were ecstatic to see GoCheck Kids earn this prestigious ranking,” Gil Kliman, general partner of InterWest Partners, said in a statement. “As founding investors in GoCheck Kids, InterWest is proud to see the tremendous impact GoCheck Kids is making on detection and treatment of important eye disorders in children.”

Along with InterWest, Gobiquity received the financial support of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff back in 2015. To date the private company has raised $20.85 million, Saber said.