The population of the world is under attack. The robots are coming, the robots are coming.
Alarmist calls abound for the end of human productivity—we are going to get replaced by “the machines.”
But it is important to recognize the pace of change for what it is and determine how to harness the technological advances that can impact you, your practice, and most importantly, your patient’s experience.
Please note that I didn’t say the patient’s experience in your office.
Many of the technological advances that are coming to eye care may actually take place at patients’ homes or on the very devices they carry with them everywhere they go.
Let’s break them down.
First, let’s handle the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. Online refraction.
With the recent news of Visibly’s “Online Vision Test” getting a recall from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), organized optometry would have you believe that you take a deep breath of relief. But I submit that the technology itself isn’t the enemy; it is how it is deployed.
So, let me tell you: Yes, it’s coming; yes, it’s here; yes, it will impact your practice. And for those of you who understand the difference between a refraction and a prescription—bonus. You get to the winners’ circle, pass Go, collect your $$$.
You see, online refraction isn’t the enemy. The technology will ultimately be a commonplace item within the next few years. Why? Simple. The consumer always wins. Convenience always wins.
How do optometrists win? That too is also simple: Learn about the technology that is out there, experience it, embrace it, and then figure out how to use it in a way that can protect and benefit your patients and your practice.
It might be helpful to remember that refraction is nothing more than another diagnostic test. 92015 is defined by the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) as determination of refractive state. A refraction in and of itself is not a prescription. A prescription is the culmination of a physician’s experience and perhaps intuition applied to the refraction combined with specifications for lens type, lens style, materials, pupillary distance (PD), etc.
But you know that already.
So, why are optometrists so scared of this technology? Could it be because they collectively feel like they have lost control of a primary end product of their examinations? Perhaps.