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 email@example.com.
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
IbisVision and Birmingham Optical have come together to ensure that the UK optical industry has access to new and disruptive technology to help better serve patients in a Covid and post Covid world.
IbisVision’s comprehensive vision platform allows for multiple tests to be carried out on one device. It is also cloud-based so it can be accessed anywhere, at any time, on a desktop computer or laptop. Given the events of the past year and the new way in which most industries are operating, IbisVision has a solution that the optical industry needs. Birmingham Optical has recognised the impact of our technology and with over 60 years of experience, they are in a prime position to offer our product to the optical industry.
Together, we have been working to make sure that we offer our technology to as many optometrists and practices across the UK as possible so that eye-care is still able to be provided to patients, no matter the circumstances. In a Covid and post Covid world, our platform allows optometrists to offer a no-contact solution in the practice and there is the option to have remote pre-screening tests so patients can be tested in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Birmingham Optical are a key supplier to the optical industry in the UK and provide equipment, services and expertise that are invaluable to their customers. We are delighted that they have chosen IbisVision to be one of those products that they know will be valuable to their customers and the wider market.
For more information, speak to us or the team at Birmingham Optical at:
IbisVision, which offers breakthrough remote optometrist technology, is accelerating plans to roll out its platform to UK and US optometrists to help them in their battle to care for patients amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The Glasgow, Scotland-based company is hiring new client-facing staff in both the UK and US, its initial main markets, to help optometrists and opticians learn more about the products and services that can allow for remote and non-contact eye-care assessments. The rollout is being funded by an injection of investment from Miami-based Compiler Venture Capital, which also facilitates IbisVision’s entry into the extensive US optical health market. Compiler has many years of experience within the optical sector, having owned, managed and sold For Eyes, a retail optician business with 150 locations across the US.
The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have placed extensive limitations on businesses and professionals, with some predicting ongoing restrictions in some form for months or even years ahead. IbisVision’s technology could be lifechanging for those who at present may be unable to visit their eyecare specialist. The platform facilitates optical professionals to remotely examine eyes, or do so in the same location but without close contact, using a variety of tests including 24–2, Amsler Grid, Ishihara Colour and Visual Acuity. This allows for appointments, assessments, prescriptions, all without any need for direct contact between the medical professional and patient.
The technology could be additive to recommendations from the College of Optometrists, which in its Covid-19 guidance is advising for strict policies to ensure the potentially deadly virus is not spread through patient-optometrist contact. One of the key recommendations is to ensure that an initial video or telephone consultation is undertaken to determine the eyecare that may be required, and whether the patient may be suffering from Covid symptoms. IbisVision’s technology allows this stage to encompass a far greater range of activities, and may ultimately negate the need for an in-person consultation. Going forward the technology allows for eyecare specialists to ensure they can treat a wider range of patients, who may at present be challenged in visiting their optometrist due to illness, mobility or location issues.
The platform, which has been trialled by industry-leading opticians, has also demonstrated increased functionality independent of its distance applications. For example, by using a single piece of equipment it dramatically reduces the space needed in a practice, freeing up room for lucrative retail activities.
IbisVision has also received funding in the form of two awards from Innovate UK, a government agency established to identify and accelerate innovative business ideas with the most potential. The combined funding, as well as supporting this rollout, will allow the business to target growth areas such as remote refraction and clinician-led remote examination and disease monitoring.
Commercial Director Melville Berwick commented:
“Whilst we could never have foreseen the circumstances that we all face now, the Covid-19 pandemic has added real urgency to our efforts at IbisVision and validated our remote optometrist technology focus.
“Put simply, our technology could be the factor in saving someone’s eyesight. By allowing optometrists the ability to undertake a comprehensive eye exam without having to meet up with the patient, we are playing our part in ensuring that we find our way through these difficult times.
“I'd encourage all eyecare specialist individuals and businesses to come and talk to us and see how we can help them continue to operate under these most trying conditions.”
For more information: Laura Hillhouse, Marketing Manager: 07414558542 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Clarke, press contact:
07887 600 234 email@example.com
IbisVision is a reliable comprehensive vision platform that combines clinical experience and disruptive technology to allow Optometrists to carry out multiple eye exams on one device, on a single cloud-based platform. Our platform disrupts the traditional one instrument, one exam model and provides a high standard of eye care that can be carried out anywhere at any time. It’s quick, easy to use and portable so whatever the needs, our platform helps to provide effective eye care as well as add resilience to the businesses we’re working with. More information is available at www.ibisvision.co.uk
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Covid 19 has accelerated tele-medicine in many fields, one of these being the optical industry. The pandemic essentially put a stop to eye care for a few months in 2020 before there was clear guidance on how optical outlets could reopen. This shone a light on what needs to progress in order to care for patients with eye conditions, whether they’re known or unknown. This priority is likely to continue long after lockdown restrictions ease.
Although tele-optometry is not a new concept, the drive for this to be introduced in the industry has increased exponentially given the events of the past year.
“Until the recent crisis, telemedicine has tended to be most useful in accessing remote or disparate populations who previously had little access to healthcare.”
However, now tele-optometry is being looked at as a solution for all, and it’s a solution that will allow Optometrists to give continuity of care to their patients even if they have to socially distance or see them remotely.
There’s technology out there that’s working to make this a reality and some products are already in the market too. IbisVision allows for non-contact testing and will offer tele-optometry functions this year allowing the patient to complete exams at home with their optician online. Other health-tech organisations are developing apps that allow tests to be undertaken on a smartphone which can be used to order glasses.
All in all, some businesses are on track to offer technological solutions required by the optical industry and offer them what they need to navigate a Covid 19 and post-Covid 19 world.
Talk to us about our solution and how we can help with our non-contact eye examination solution. Contact us for more details, we’d love to hear from you.