Tiny footprint, huge impact
Read how the Friends of Bolivia Foundation used the SVOne to triple their patient throughput.
Friends of Bolivia
Judi Wilkinson, Mission Vision Coordinator
Oklahoma City, OK
SVOne user since May 2015

Please tell us about your organization.

Friends of Bolivia Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1993, with the purpose of rendering medical attention to the poor people of Bolivia. Yearly Friends of Bolivia organizes a medical mission team of medical professionals and volunteers to go to Bolivia, South America, to fulfill this purpose.

Describe the types of patients you see.

The vision team sees patients from every economic group, most especially from impoverished communities. The range in ages is usually from seven through 80 years, although there have been remarkable exceptions — several 100 year old patients! In general the patients need eye sight correction of simple distance and/or close range deficiencies.

What is your biggest exam-related challenge?

In the past the biggest challenge was assessing the correct vision, but with the SVOne that was no longer the case. The biggest challenge now is the ability to fit the patient with the range of glasses supplied through the Lions Club. Another challenge is the inability to attend to the needs of individuals who require surgery.

What attracted you to the SVOne?

The simplicity, accuracy, speed, and portability were all very strong attractions.

How do you use the SVOne?

The SVOne replaces the former instrument that we used to measure vision, the focometer. This instrument is very time demanding and difficult for a patient to use — particularly when the directions involve language translation. Usual measurements could take from 30 minutes to one hour. The SVOne streamlined the whole process, thus allowing us to attend to almost three times the number of patients.

Tell us an SVOne story.

The Friends of Bolivia Medical Mission Trip in May and June of 2015 was the first opportunity to use this innovative instrument. The site for this mission trip provided an extra challenge — many of the elder patients spoke Quechua, a regional, indigenous language, that our team did not know. The use of the SVOne effectively eliminated the need to translate how to operate as icons and gestures easily conveyed the instructions to the patient. Our oldest patient was in his late 80s and without the ease of communication it is doubtful that we could have been a success. His wide smile as he donned his new glasses was a great gift to all of us!

How do you envision the SVOne will help you grow your organization?

The portability, speed, accuracy, and ease of use will greatly grow the numbers of patients we can see during the five days we are in a location. In the past the average time to assess a patient’s vision was 30 to 60 minutes. With the SVOne we can see three patients in that time. Important, also is the accuracy. The measurements provided can pinpoint the perscription needed for each patient. When the focometer was the instrument used, many people were turned away for lack of enough time. The SVOne allows us to bring the much needed gift of sight to so many more.

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