Independent Eye Care

Increasing optical sales and providing better access to care with Tele-Optometry

Optical Retailers are facing a growing problem finding on-site eye doctor coverage. Thousands of locations have little to no coverage while many are limited to one or two days per week.
Published 1.5.2023

Some areas of the country are reporting a backlog for exam availability of several weeks to several months. This access to care issue is only projected to continue to increase.

At the moment, many people associate tele-optometry with online refractions or virtual at home consultations on an iPhone or Surface tablet. Why should this solution to access to care be limited to an at-home experience?

Patients visiting a tele-optometry office receive all the normal pre-testing they would in the most well equipped offices. An onsite technician acting as a patient facilitator performs the pre testing and then remains with the patient to assist with the remote subjective refraction and live clinical consultation with a remote doctor to finalize their prescription.

Consider This

Think about working with a tele-optometry partner who supports a wide range of integrations with major diagnostic equipment and software organizations for effective implementation.

The Process

At 20/20NOW, our exam process starts when the patient checks in. They can fill out their health questionnaire on a tablet or before they arrive online. The Tele-Optometry service is provided on demand and no scheduling is required by the office. Walk-in appointment availability is a key competitive advantage for any retailer.

The exam starts with an onsite technician performing a pressure check with a non contact tonometer. The onsite technician also performs lensometry, an objective refraction using an Auto Refractor Keratometer (ARK) and retinal imaging with a fundus camera.

From there the patient is taken into the exam lane where a series of digital slit lamp images and videos are performed to assess the angles for glaucoma, the lens for cataracts as well as the lids for other ocular conditions.

Ocular Motility, alignment, pupil function as well as color and stereo vision tests are performed. Automated visual field testing can also be incorporated into the process.

Next, the onsite technician connects with a COMT or COT JCAHPO certified remote technician via teleconferencing to perform the subjective refraction on a digital phoropter.

Once the subjective refraction is complete a live doctor will teleconference in the room to review the diagnostic information with the patient and finalize their prescription. All of this is done through our proprietary software which has already been used to smoothly perform over two million refractions.

Implementation

Tele-optometry can also be used for contact lens exams, including both refits and new fits, though this does vary from state to state. 20/20NOW provides a turnkey solution for an office, including the equipment, software, installation, IT support and 5 days of onsite training to ensure the onsite technician has everything they need in order to complete the exams. By the end of the fifth day, your new on-demand tele-optometry practice is up and running.

For offices struggling to find adequate doctor coverage, Tele-Optometry powered by 20/20NOW can help fill the gap in the access to care that patients are seeking.

Bob Iasillo
Author
Bob Iasillo, Vice President Sales and Marketing 20/20NOW
Bob has been in the ophthalmic industry for 15 years and has launched multiple new medical devices in eye care. With a focus on bringing innovation to eye care, Bob has a passion for launching early stage startups and has brought four new technologies to the industry. email: biasillo@for2020now.com website: for2020now.com