NEW YORK – DigitalOptometrics introduced technology at Vision Expo East that enables optometrists to perform comprehensive eye exams remotely.
The system includes proprietary software, remotely operated equipment, high-definition video conferencing and Internet accessibility, according to company literature.
The software allows the optometrist to be open 7 days a week without being there, Erica Goldberg, a technical supervisor for DigitalOptometrics, told Primary Care Optometry News at Vision Expo.
She explained: When the patient enters the eye clinic or optical retail store, he or she inputs information on a tablet or laptop, answering questions on topics such as insurance, medical history, glasses, contact lenses, dry eye, problems with glare, allergy and other medications. Then the patient undergoes pre-testing with an autorefractor-keratometer, noncontact tonometer, fundus camera slit lamp and lensometry, if wearing glasses.
If the doctor’s office or retail location does not have all of this equipment, it can be leased from DigitalOptometrics, she said.
“Each test is pushed to the interface and saved to a cloud,” Goldberg said.
After the testing, the patient is taken into the exam lane where a remote refractionist comes onscreen and performs a full subjective refraction, she said.
“The data is pushed to the cloud, then the doctor comes onscreen and reviews the data and discusses findings and recommendations with the patient,” Goldberg said.
She noted that a practice’s own doctor can do this from anywhere.
“If it’s an optical store, we can provide a doctor licensed in that state,” she said.
The doctor signs off on the prescription for corrective lenses, and if a problem is detected, there is a referral tab for the doctor to use, or the establishment can select their own specialist.
Goldberg said the system is in four locations now, and 700 patients ranging in age from 6 to 86 years old have had contact lens fittings and eye exams.
“The younger generation loves it; the older ones feel like they’re on Star Trek,” she said. “It’s fun. We try to make it a good experience.”
Goldberg said the system is being marketed to all eye care providers. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Disclosure: Goldberg is employed by DigitalOptometrics