ECPs must embrace the future of vision and eye care, filled with advanced technologies and innovations
The eyecare industry is evolving with new technological advancements being introduced to the market. Eye care professionals (ECPs) must learn to adapt as new technologies are integral to optometric care and best practices.
“Technological innovations have always driven the evolution of vision care. And, the direction is certainly going digital and contactless, especially post-pandemic,” said Diana Loy.
“We can now measure all wearer’s parameters using cutting-edge digital dispensing technology that delivers an accurate, precise and consistent result, and it is all done in a contactless way.
“We can also measure additional valuable data, such as the patient’s dynamic visual behaviour, which includes head and eye movement, ratio stability coefficient and natural head position.
“It is necessary to go beyond the traditional pupillary distance (PD) measurements and fitting heights to get the full benefit of modern prescription lens design.”
Loy is an optometrist at Eyecare+ Vision Centre along with her optometrist colleagues Teh Chalk Bee and Lim Jia Jun. They are located at Quayside Mall.
Post-pandemic best practices
Teh shared: “One of the main issues we face post-pandemic is the prevalence of myopia, which has increased tremendously. It is mainly due to environmental changes and more indoor time during the pandemic.
“But thanks to the advancements in optometry technology, we can use cornea topographer to take precise scanning of the cornea to fit the Ortho-k lens.
“Ortho-k lenses are gas permeable (GP) lenses which is worn overnight that gently reshape the front surface of your eye (cornea) so you can see the following day without the need for glasses or contacts. It is a clinically proven method to slow down myopia progression effectively.”
According to Lim, by using new technologies, they can improve the quality of care for their patients with new treatment plans.
“Digital slit lamp and fundus photography, for example, allow us to monitor changes in the eyes’ conditions over time. More importantly, we can relay and explain things quickly using the data and images to the patient.
Loy assured that the advanced examination equipment and eyewear products are safe. “They undergo extensive clinical trials before they can be used on patients.”
Regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in eye examinations, Lim said: “The goal of AI within eye care is to optimise clinical decision-making while significantly reducing the burden of ocular disease and preventable blindness.
“AI will undoubtedly play a vital role within the industry and may soon lead to the prediction of diagnosis and management plans before the patient even sees the doctor.”
They believe that the advancement in eye care technology will not replace skilled optometrists. Instead, ECPs would embrace technology and AI to provide their patients with the absolute best standard of care.
Eye care access for the local community
Eyecare+, shared Teh, was founded in December 2020 by optometrist David. “Back then, there weren’t any optometry centres in the region providing primary eye care services to the public. And so, we saw ourselves filling up the space and raising awareness of eye care in the community.
“We positioned ourselves as a clinical optometry centre intending to give the local community more access to comprehensive eye screening services.”
During the pandemic, she said, Eyecare+ provided comprehensive eye examination services and free eye health screening while adhering strictly to the social distancing SOPs. “We managed to provide service and retain our loyal customers.”
According to Loy, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Vision Care’s MyAcuvue App has also benefited their practice.
“The MyAcuvue app is an all-in-one app that brings in new walk-ins to our practice and reinforces existing patient loyalty towards ECP. The patient can make eye examination appointments, earn points, and enjoy exclusive rewards by signing up as members.” – The Health