Woman taking a refractory eye exam

By: Mitchell Gunter –

Telemedicine – the practice of remotely diagnosing and treating patients through telecommunications – is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and eliminating burdensome costs and inconvenient appointments from customers’ lives in the process. When it comes to ocular telemedicine, this means allowing patients to visit the eye doctor just once every two years instead of every single time they need a refill or a lens replaced.

Phone apps, such as Opternative, which allows users to schedule a 25-minute “eye appointment” from their couch, and GlassesOn, which determines the refractive error of a patient’s eyes through the manipulation of light on a phone or computer screen, rival traditional eye exams – and prove to be just as effective.

This state-of-the-art technology is liberating consumers from visiting a doctor’s office for trivial matters, such as getting a prescription for eyeglasses or refilling contact lenses. Nevertheless, technological innovation walks hand-in-hand with market disruption, creating enemies of progress within big business and special interests.

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