Telemedicine in Optometry

By February 2, 2023 No Comments

In recent years Telemedicine has become a critical tool for medical practitioners to interact with their patients. The advent of COVID-19 in early 2020 changed the way we interact with each other, medical practitioners had to quickly adapt to the pandemic during this time and Telemedicine played a crucial role in helping them to continue to provide care for their patients.

Optometrists were one of the many healthcare professionals who felt the void of proper telemedicine platforms that would cater to their specific needs. As the need for Telemedicine platforms that supported eye care specific customization grew, developers collaborated with eye care providers such as Optometrists and modified their platforms to support the specific needs of eye care practitioners and provide a more streamline experience for both the practitioner and patients. The result is that Teleoptometry and virtual appointments are now widely popular among optometrists and other eye care providers and an accurate alternative to an in clinic physical examination.

Nowadays, the use of telemedicine in Optometry not only provides access to care for people that are unable to have a physical examination due to illness, mobility issues, disabilities, or have difficulty traveling for a physical exam but it also enables Optometrists to reach patients in remote areas and even in different countries. There are now current practices that an Optometrist that is based in the US is providing virtual exams for patients that are on the other side of the border in Canada. Something that would be near to impossible a few years ago! Teleoptometry can also allow Optometrists to reach a wider patient base, increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce costs associated with operating a physical office. This can be particularly valuable for optometrists in rural areas, where access to eye care may be limited. Teleoptometry also enables Optometrists to collect and analyze patient data more easily as the needs for paper charts, printed scans and patients prescriptions will be eliminated which can improve examination time efficiency and if needed the patient prescription can be sent to their chosen Pharmacy!

In conclusion, Tele optometry is a rapidly growing field that offers numerous benefits to both patients and Optometrists. The application of telemedicine in Optometry continues to evolve and provide innovative solutions to the delivery of eye care. With its convenience, accessibility, and numerous benefits, it is likely that Teleoptometry will play an increasingly important role in the future of Optometry.

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