News: Virtual Vision Test App from Warby Parker & Apple Vision

Rarely do we report on industry news from Warby Parker, but paying attention to your competitors is an important step to take to stay relevant and useful.

Especially if you're patients are gravitating toward alternative eyewear brands and online ordering, you'll want to create a game plan for keeping your base. We've covered various methods to stay competitive within the online retail space.

However, this recent app development might require your practice to explore telehealth opportunities. Keep reading to hear about what patients will have access to and how you can help.

How ODs can Compete with Virtual Eye Tests

All Warby Parker users will be able to update their prescriptions in the Virtual Vision Test app. This lets them renew their supply of contact lenses or glasses without visiting an eyecare practice. The testing is done through Apple's Vision Framework, which uses AI to measure face landmark detection and human activity and then verifies with a doctor. Although the CEO of Warby Parker makes it clear that the Virtual Vision Test does not and cannot replace the comprehensive eye exam, it does help boost accessibility for patients who cannot physically visit an optical dispensary. Now, let's talk about how optometrists can address and challenge this competition.

Not Viable for All

Warby Parker makes it clear that this test can only be used for patients between ages 18-65 who have good eye health, fairly good vision, and single-vision distance prescriptions. This could mean that most of your patient base is unable to use the new app, and you can make this restriction clear in your marketing emails or blogs. Making patients aware of the limitations of online exams for comprehensive care can make the biggest difference in their purchasing decisions.

Telemedicine

If your competition is offering telemedicine and you're noticing that it's being utilized by people in your area, the best response is to counter offer. Start with a cloud-based EHR that backs up patient data to a cloud so you can create digital patient profiles and send patients online intake forms. Then, you can promote a contact-free base exam as well as a comprehensive visit in your practice if need be. This option might be attractive for people in your existing patient base who don't have regular access to transportation or cannot make it to your practice otherwise.


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