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By: Erik Wicklund –

Supporters of ocular telehealth are marshalling their forces for battle in the handful of states where the use of telemedicine platforms for eye exams is prohibited.

They recently announced the launch of Americans for Vision Care Innovation, a collection of more than a dozen advocacy groups, research organizations and online eye care vendors formed to “encourage states to adopt legislation allowing vision care telehealth services, including online vision testing and online prescription renewal for glasses and contact lens wearers, and to end restrictions on such services where they exist … (and to)  fight against legislation that would roll back access to online vision care services in the states where it is currently allowed.”

Among the new group’s members is Opternative, the Chicago-based developer of an app for online eye exams that operates in dozens of states. Last month, the company announced plans to appeal a judge’s dismissal of its lawsuit against South Carolina’s Eye Care Consumer Protection Law, which states that a prescription for glasses or contact lenses can’t be based “solely on the refractive eye error of the human eye or be generated by a kiosk,” essentially ruling out telemedicine-based eye exams.

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