Last week we featured Eric White ‘opportunities’ for eyecare professionals. We asked our sponsors what opportunities they see in the future and what is coming down the pipeline. The following is from David Friedfeld of ClearVision Optical.
1) New apps allow doctors to communicate with their patients as well as other doctors. With CaptureProof, patients can take a photo or video of their symptoms and share with their doctor. This app helps reduce the time to evaluate as well as unnecessary tests. Figure 1 is a photo-sharing app for health care professionals. It’s being called the c, and it allows doctors to discuss and share photos of rare medical conditions.
2) In the near future, the U.S. will no longer be dominated by one ethnic group. Our multiracial society means people require a variety of colors, shapes, and temple lengths for their eyewear. ClearVision is already addressing this growing need through our Global Fit styles.
3) The U.S. population as a whole is getting older. With a higher life expectancy in our country, the number of people aged 65 and older is increasing year after year. Older people require more eyewear and eye care. Eye care professionals should expect to see more and more elderly patients.
4) Fifty years ago, people were moving out to the suburbs. Now, people are moving back to the cities. Two thirds of the world’s population will reside in cities by 2030. Urbanization is a growing trend, so consider setting up your practice in an urban area.
5) DIY (do-it-yourself) eye exams: A company named EyeNetra has developed a $2 scope that can be attached to a smartphone to give eye exams. Although this was originally developed for developing nations, this device could eventually be a replacement for going to the doctor’s office for an exam.
6) There are several apps available that can actually improve a person’s vision through a series of games. GlassesOff is a training program that has been proven to improve near vision sharpness and reading capabilities. ULTIMEYES strengthens vision to allow users to see farther and sharper. Could this reduce the need for glasses in the future?
7) Smart glasses are now being used in medical settings, such as in the operating room to bring up patient information and vital signs. Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center is experimenting with Google Glass. Using the smart glasses, doctors can scan QR codes near the door of a patient’s hospital room to bring up patient records, test results, and other information.