Before the Covid-19 pandemic, telehealth wasn’t a reality for many and was more of a goal that was in the pipeline for the future. However, the pandemic has brought about major changes in this area and now developments in telehealth are firing ahead.
In recent years, technology has often been viewed as a limiting factor in healthcare, mostly in terms of patients having the knowledge to use it and having access to the appropriate internet connection. These issues are largely easy to overcome and since the Covid-19 pandemic began, healthcare professionals and patients are more able to adapt to new ways of working and accessing essential services.
There’s no doubt that some patients, especially the elderly or vulnerable, may still need assistance in accessing virtual care, but it’s something that professionals are more aware of and many are now fully equipped to offer support with this. The expansion of telehealth has brought many benefits to professionals and patients too; it has led to patients spending less time travelling to and from appointments, and it has reduced the time spent in waiting rooms while still being able to access an receive a high quality of care. Technology with telehealth capabilities is also allowing healthcare professionals to provide care to those who aren’t able to access it as easily, such as those who live in remote locations or are unable to travel.
This progress is allowing many healthcare systems to provide essential services to patients that might have otherwise not been able to gain access to it. It is also important to note that in the years to come telehealth may not exist as a standalone concept and will just be ‘healthcare.’ As more and more patients and healthcare professionals use it, telehealth will become a staple part of the treatment process. Doctors may even end up caring for more patients than they would in person as there’s less administrative work to be done. They will have the support of interactive telehealth platforms and many of the time-consuming tasks can be self-serving for the patients or done automatically.
With patients becoming accustomed to this level of access, it’s a sure thing that we won’t ever head back to not having virtual care. Continued growth will be sustained in the years to come as easier access to healthcare is the goal in most healthcare systems and that goes from hospital care to eye care. This increased access with the added benefit of telehealth aiding in preventative care, is only going to increase its growth and it will continue to be embraced by both professionals and patients.
IbisVision provides remote vision testing software to the optical industry. Get in touch with us today to hear more about our telehealth capabilities, and how it can benefit you in attracting and treating more patients. Contact us, here.
From remote care to health kiosks, take a look at the technology solutions making healthcare accessible
Technology companies across the world are stepping up and finding new and innovative ways to ensure that people have easier access to healthcare. The need to create this accessibility has come from a number of reasons. For example, Covid-19 restrictions have increased the need for social distancing, and telemedicine also allows providers to give those who live-in remote locations the opportunity to access the healthcare they need in a timely way as well as helping those who are vulnerable.
According to a Cisco global survey, 74% of patients prefer easy access to healthcare services over in-person interactions with providers. This means that even those who aren’t vulnerable are now pushing more for this type of care, and technology is becoming available in more and more health systems to allow this. Let’s take a look at what kind of solutions are out there:
Telemedicine is on the rise in many health systems. IbisVision has developed a remote solution for the optometry industry but there are many other healthcare professionals utilising this type of software too.
Remote appointments are being aided with solutions such as online platforms and smartphone applications. These options help to connect patients with healthcare providers without any wasted time or the additional costs of in-person visits to the patient or the organisation. Remote solutions are also here to help providers offer patient-centred approaches while improving the timeliness of appointments, something that is going a long way in improving the quality of care.
Health kiosks help to serve the general public and offer screening tools for individuals to check up on their health quickly without having to visit a doctor. These kiosks are often located in supermarkets or retail spaces and most recently, workplaces have started to place these in their office spaces too.
A visit to a clinician will only be recommended if the kiosk reports back results that require a physical check-up. This helps to save time for both the patient and healthcare professional as it cuts down time spent at the practice as well as having to make multiple visits. Health kiosks like those from Higi and Pulse Active Networks are focused on improving wellness of the public and are a non-invasive way of screening an individual’s health. Many of these kiosks are utilised across the world and can currently capture measurements such as an individuals’ weight, height, BMI, blood pressure and heart rate. However, this is an evolving concept and more healthcare providers are looking at utilising kiosks as a first point of care for their patients.
Technology is allowing us to provide healthcare to patients like never before. This is making healthcare easier to access for everyone and also makes it less intimidating for those who are vulnerable. While there have been limitations to telemedicine in the past, providers are now addressing these issues to allow different healthcare industries to thrive using new solutions.
To find out more about IbisVision and our telemedicine capabilities for the optical industry, get in touch with us, here.
Not everyone is able to visit their opticians to attend eye tests, and this can be caused by a number of reasons which include physical and mental disabilities. These individuals are also often those who need access to eye care the most and this is why portable vision testing technology is a great addition for optometrists who provide domiciliary care.
Technology, like IbisVision’s, helps to cut down the amount of equipment that optometrists need to take out to their patient’s homes. At the moment, optometrists often take a number of pieces of equipment with them and having technology available to them that holds a number of tests will make their jobs easier. It also makes the patient experience smoother in their homes and making the process as easy as possible is in the best interest of the patient and their wellbeing.
Innovative vision testing software supports the domiciliary journey for both the optometrist and the patient, and allows the optometrist to carry out tests efficiently in order to determine the patient’s needs for vision care. This makes it easier for them to provide continuity of care too. Talk to our team today about how we can support your business with portable vision testing technology. You can get in touch with us, here.
A wide adoption of digital tools is allowing the optometry industry to progress and better face the challenges that have presented themselves over the past year. Not only this, but technology is helping to improve patient care while reducing costs for the industry too.
In the past year, tele-health adoption has spiked at unprecedented rates across the world, with some providers reporting 175 times the number of consultations via tele-health compared to pre-pandemic visits in the US (medcitynews.com). This, however, did not mean that every organisation was prepared with the technology to offer or manage this uptake in virtual services. Initially, clinicians adopted solutions that were ready-made such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams but technology suppliers have stepped up and have been developing solutions that are tailored to specific industries and their offerings. From no-contact solutions to health kiosks, technology is playing a major part in allowing health and eye care professionals to navigate the effects of the pandemic.
How can technology benefit the optical industry now and in the future?
Technology is allowing us to provide solutions for current challenges that have come from Covid-19. However, we can use these technology solutions to improve the way in which we operate for the future and provide more essential services to patients.
The advantages of implementing technology are endless, but one of the shining benefits is that technology is encouraging people to look after their health and wellbeing no matter their circumstances. For example, health kiosks mean that people can self-serve which is allowing those who are still worried about visiting doctors or hospitals access to health screenings before it’s absolutely necessary for them to visit a practice in person. In the long term, these types of self-service kiosks will suit those with busy lifestyles and it’s also more convenient for many to assess themselves quickly before booking an appointment with a doctor or other health professional.
Remote technology is also beneficial for industry professionals as well as patients. Tele-optometry is helping to keep to social distancing guidelines for optometrists and patients and this is vital in allowing essential services and care to continue safely. It’s also going to be beneficial for the future too. This type of service will help to fit into people’s lives who are still working from home or have busy working schedules. It’ll also help to reach those who live in more remote locations and struggle to physically access these types of services on a regular basis. Technology is increasing access to vital services and development of software has been accelerated in the past year. This acceleration has allowed certain services to remain open for patients and will now be a key way in which health professionals and patients interact going forward.
IbisVision provides innovative software to the optical industry which includes tele-optometry features as well as a no-contact solution for in-practice. To find out more, get in touch with us, here.
This past year has brought many challenges for the optometry profession, and the industry has stepped up and faced these head on. From social distancing to working with suppliers that offer different ways of testing, optometrists are continuing to provide effective eye care to their patients.
Why is no-contact testing important?
The health and safety of those who have had to access vital services over the past year has been a top concern. Of those necessary services, eye care has been included and opticians have remained open for urgent, essential and routine eye care and tests.
Most optical practices have put social distancing measures in place in and others have even started looking at no-contact testing solutions. No contact solutions mean that optometrists can reduce the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus and keep patients as safe as possible while they are treating them.
No contact solutions will also pave the way for any future changes that may occur because of the pandemic. Every industry has had to adapt and many of the changes made will remain in place permanently, especially when it comes to close contact services.
Technology can change the way optometrists test patient
IbisVision, and other companies like us, are working to provide alternatives to physical testing. Technology can provide different ways of testing patients whether that be equipment that allows for no or limited contact, or remote testing. This type of technology also gives options to optometrists on how they wish to operate; they can choose to see patients in practice or remotely. It also helps to follow current legal guidance but will reduce risks that might be faced going forward out of the pandemic.
Here at IbisVision, we believe that optometry-led remote screening will reduce patient exposure to Covid-19 and support the industry with all the changes and challenges in the future. Our software enables the optometrist to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ driving positive change for the profession and we support all aspects of no-contact testing whether optometrists choose to do this in practice or remotely.
For more information and to see our software in action, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Optoversity Challenge is an event that takes place each year and brings optometry students across the country together to raise money for Vision Care for Homeless People. The event, which is usually a physical event, was hosted online this year by Out of The Box Optics and proved to be a huge success.
The total amount raised from the event was £7,800. This is an amazing amount of money brought together by the efforts of both the students and sponsors of the event. This was all in the aid of a great charity and a big increase from the £5,500 raised in 2020.
Congratulations to the winners of the event, City University of London, and to all others who took part and made the event a success. IbisVision was glad to sponsor the event alongside the other great companies involved.
Read more about the event, here.
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. In support of this we’ve decided to take a look at all the ways in which we can keep our eyes safe while we’re at work.
Eye safety at work is an important part of overall workplace safety. Prevent Blindness, based in the US, announced March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month in order to provide employers and employees with free information on preventing eye injuries in the workplace. Although this is a national month in the US, we can still take some important tips to use in any country or workplace.
According to Prevent Blindness, more than 2000 people suffer injuries to their eyes at work each day in the US. So, what risks do we have to look out for?
Objects that can damage our eyes
This can be a bigger risk in areas such as construction but it’s something we should look out for everyday no matter where we work. Even shop workers or teachers using different equipment with their students should be mindful.
Chemicals can be harmful to our eyes
Cleaning products and other hazardous materials can cause severe damage if they come into contact with our eyes. Burns can also be a risk in certain professions too.
Watch out for digital eye strain
We also need to consider damage that be caused by screens. This affects those who work in offices and others who spend a lot of time in front of a screen all day.
What can we do to prevent eye injuries?
Office workers are at risk too and we need to ensure we’re protecting against digital eye strain. What can we do in an office environment?
Workplace eye wellness month teaches us that it doesn’t matter what industry we are in, we need to protect our vision as best we can. For more tips look at Prevent Blindness for more resources.
World Glaucoma Week is a global initiative that works to raise awareness on glaucoma. The theme of this year’s Glaucoma Week reflects the hope that with regular testing, people will continue to save their vision with early detection.
IbisVision and other companies like us, are working hard to provide technology that will aid in the detection of vision issues. Often with glaucoma, the earlier the diagnosis, the more vision there is to save and the less likely the person is to become blind.
As 2021 Glaucoma Week comes to an end, remember there are different ways to raise awareness throughout the year to help educate on how to protect our vision and detect changes. You can use your newsletters and social media to spread some awareness online with informative posts. And don’t forget, educating patients, friends and family can be just as important in spreading the word. There are different materials that you could utilise in practice such as posters, leaflets and information packs.
For more information and to access some informative collateral to share, visit www.worldglaucomaweek.org
As it’s Save Your Vision Month in the US, we thought we would highlight some of the ways that optical organisations are teaching us to be kinder to our eyes.
Keep reading to find out what steps we can take to protect our vision.
Brinton Vision say:
Avoid reaching for your phone first thing in the morning. By checking your phone right away, you can make your eyes tired before even step out of bed! Focus on getting up and starting your day to wake up properly before checking your phone or other screens.
McDonald Eye Care say:
If you’re using a computer screen often, make sure your screen position is in the right place. You should sit at least 20-30 inches away from your screen and position the top of your screen at eye level. You should also remember to take a break from your screen too. It’s best to give your eyes a short break after every 2 hours of screen so remember to take that coffee break!
The American Academy of Ophthalmology say:
Wear sunglasses. UV blocking delays the development of cataracts and prevents retinal damage. Sunglasses also protect the delicate skin around your eyes too.
Eat right. Having vitamin deficiency can impair retinal function. Researchers have found people that have diets with higher levels of vitamins C and E, Zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are less likely to develop early and advanced AMD.
These are just some of the ways we can protect our vision but each are important to consider. This month and every month, it’s important that we raise awareness to patients, friends and family about what steps we can take to protect our sight. Why not share this post with your networks to continue to raise awareness online!
Optometry students are gearing up for Out of the Box Optoversity Challenge, when they will test their knowledge against others in the same year group across the UK at the online event: Sunday 21st March.
This popular annual challenge has already attracted entrants from all year groups with prizes generously donated by Keeler, Heine, Wolf Eyewear, Hoya, Lenstec, Norville, Topcon, Millmead, Alcon, Booth & Bruce, Kirk & Kirk, Jonny Goggles, ABDO, Scope and The Crazy Optom.
The exciting challenge has a strong charity element to it with funds raised each year for Vision Care for Homeless People, through student sponsorship. As teams have already signed up from Anglia, Aston, Bradford, Cardiff, City, Glasgow, Lancashire, Manchester, Plymouth, Ulster and UWE the charity hopes it will be a bumper year for fundraising. Already several optical suppliers are sponsoring the event with funds going directly to the charity – thanks to Altacor, Haag Steit, VISUfarma, Locumkit and IBISVISION.
Organised by Out Of The Box Optics this exciting event raised £5,500 for the charity last year and in 2019 the sum was £3,600.
Harinder Paul, VCHP Trustee, is encouraging everyone to become involved –
“It is an exciting day and we are looking to draw the whole optical community together. Our terrific supporters have put up some great prizes for the best students – equipment and wonderful sunglasses, particularly.”
The day’s challenges are likely to involve an ocular disease picture quiz, multiple choice questions, practical exams and anagrams to unscramble optical terminology. This year’s Zoom event starts at 10-11.30am for year one students; Year 2 from 12-1.30pm and years 3 and 4 from 2-3.30pm.
“Everyone learns a lot at this event – particularly working to a deadline. There is still nearly a month to go so any more teams are welcome and any business wanting to support with sponsorship should get in touch,” added Harinder.
North London optom Karmelo Modina who created the event, in partnership with Gajan Singh, said -
“Optoversity has proved to be a fantastic way to bring together optometry students and to help prepare them for working life in the best way possible.”
Students can enter via the website and businesses that would like to sponsor the day please contact:
Issued for Vision Care for Homeless People
By Janice English