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Nationwide Children’s Hospital to Introduce New Technology to Enhance Pediatric Assessment and Early Diagnosis


Columbus, OH - 12/6/2010

Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced today the introduction of a new pediatric diagnostic tool that assesses developmental milestones in early childhood while helping identify problems so that treatments for various conditions or disorders can begin sooner.

The new diagnostic tool, termed Pediaglyphs™, was developed by a team led by Kelly Kelleher, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s, in conjunction with Vectorform LLC, a company that specializes in developing applications and interactive communications systems.  The technology will also be used for patient education applications. 

The advantage of the new technology is that it will enable doctors to assess, store and track the developmental stages of a child over time, so that problem areas can be identified faster and treatment for identified conditions and disorders can be initiated earlier in the child’s development.

The goal in developing the Pediaglyphs™ System was to take existing diagnostic and patient education tools and create new applications using the power and speed of smart phones and smart pads. 

The project is being funded, in part, by a $40,000 grant from AT&T and will begin as a pilot program at the main campus with expansion planned for Nationwide Children’s Primary Care Centers.  

“AT&T is committed to working with health care professionals to help the industry become more efficient and more effective through technology,” said Tom Pelto, president, AT&T Ohio.  “We are very excited to partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital on this revolutionary new tool, Pediaglyphs™.”

In central Ohio, it is estimated that 46 percent of the children entering kindergarten today lack the basic language skills they need to learn how to read. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends developmental surveillance at all well-child visits in addition to the use of developmental screening tools. Pediaglyphs™ will integrate the “Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status” (PEDS) screening tool, which is a parent reporting instrument for children ages birth to 8-years old.  In addition, Nationwide Children’s will incorporate an interactive skills assessment that pediatricians can use during well-child visits to assess patients’ development from 2-5 years of age.

Early identification of developmental disorders is critical to the well-being of children and their families.  With an increase in primary care services, pediatric health care providers have the responsibility to screen a child’s development early and address any concerns. 

Through the use of the smart pad and smart phone applications, users can perform natural hand gestures such as flicking, swiping and drawing, to connect with content in new and exciting ways. 

Developmental delay affects at least 10 percent of children and about half go undetected when clinical judgment alone is used. The Pediaglyphs™ System will maximize positive patient outcomes by giving doctors advanced diagnostic capabilities and caregivers of all literacy levels a way to become more fully engaged in their child’s developmental screening.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000