20 March 2017
With the rise in sophisticated technologies, ophthalmologists and other eye professionals are aided with efficient and effective tools to allow them to offer the highest standards in eye healthcare.
“We are moving into a new age in eye healthcare where advances in imaging technology are enabling opticians to spend less time taking measurements, and more time analysing the findings and providing patients with a tailored management plan,” said. Catherine Chisholm, former president of the British Contact Lens Association, in an interview with Raconteur.
Dr. Chisholm added, “Instruments for measuring the pressure inside the eye or photographing the back of the eye, for example, are now so automated and user-friendly that other members of staff can be trained in their use, further freeing up valuable consultation time for the patient.”
However, the future has more technological advancements in store for the eye care industry. Read on below what find out what to expect next in the eye healthcare industry.
Mobile health tools for professionals and patients
As mobile devices become an indispensable technology in today’s world, developers will find a way to maximize smartphones and tablets in enhancing eye care services, both on from the provider and patient’s end.
Ophthalmologists and eye care professionals are now aided with innovative tools that make eye examinations efficient and more accurate. Smart Optometry is a new technology that leverages Android and iOS devices in assisting doctors through eye examinations, patients with eye therapy, and the general public in monitoring their eye health and preventing eye damage.
Soon, it’s probably that we will see doctors carrying head-mounted displays with ophthalmic technologies that could replace the ones used in clinics. By then, doctors will be able to provide eye health assistance, even to those in remote areas.
While ophthalmic mobile apps are convenient and efficient, they cannot replace clinical judgment. It’s still necessary to have a regulation of mobile apps partnered with evidence-based trials to benefit both patients and healthcare providers.
Wearables for eye care
Aside from smartphones and health apps, wearables are becoming a vital tool in managing health. They do more than just track vital signs, as the next wave of wearable devices will be able to assist people in fixing some of their health problems, such as correcting eye issues.
At the moment, smartwatches offer almost the same features as their paired handsets. Tech resource O2 cited some of the known benefits of wearables including alarm clocks, sleep monitors, activity trackers, health data managers, gaming platforms, restaurant recommendations, notifications, maps and more.
“Whether you want to catch up on the news, make sure you’re staying active or even play soothing noises to help you sleep, there’s all sorts that a smartwatch can help you with,” as explained on O2’s inspirational hub article ‘Day with a smartwatch’.
Due to innovation, future wearables will be smarter, more powerful, and will be better at monitoring health. Take for example, the Smart Contact Lens that many digital tech firms, such as Google, Sony, and Samsung, are working on right now that can help people in correcting their eye problems. This particular wearable fitted with an artificial iris will be able to aid patients with eye injuries and congenital diseases, according to Katherine Bourzac’s IEEE Spectrum article.
Currently, there’s no specific time on when we will be able to see this technology on the market as it faces multiple challenges in the development stage. But, it’s something to look forward to in the future.
Whatever comes next, the latest developments in eye technology are already providing a world of possibilities to enhance patients’ vision and eye care. It is only fitting that we maximize them and future technologies to provide ourselves with the best possible eye care and visual performance available. Whether it’s a technology that aids patients or medical professionals, the future looks very promising at this point.
Techie Jen B.
Get Smart Optometry
Smart Optometry app v3.2 is available to download on Apple App Store and Google Play. App support all iPhone and iPad models running iOS 8.0 or later and Android devices running Lollypop.