CES 2017 Insights: Shifting Energy from Low-Value Transactions to High-Potential Experiences
CES 2017 Insights: The Mobile Refraction Onslaught Provides Opportunity
Insight: Mobile refraction costs plummet, availability on the rise. Optometry practices can lean into the wind to deepen patient relationships.
PLEASANTON, Calif. — EyeCare Prime’s Shaun Schooley was no more than a few hundred feet onto the massive CES exhibits floor when he came across the first mobile refraction technology – one of many being promoted in Las Vegas at the world’s most influential digital gathering. It’s a topic rife with controversy, with practices questioning the safety, efficacy and potential downfalls of such devices in light of their limited capabilities.
What was clear amidst the lights, sounds and “wows” of the 3,800 exhibitors was that mobile refraction has crossed the threshold from novelty to an accepted device by the consumer technology community – a harbinger for widespread availability. Combined with plunging costs, these pose a new challenge to optometry practices.
Yet there was an encouraging tone during the demonstrations. Manufacturers were quick to note that these were only effective when used in collaboration with eye care professionals – i.e., that the data was more powerful in the hands of an OD, as was patient health. Speculation turned to how advanced, forward-thinking practices may encourage regular use by patients, providing a more frequent point-of-contact to monitor any changes in Rx, but also to open the door for dialogue throughout the year – not only during an annual exam.