We live in an age of highly innovative and life changing technology. Although technology makes our lives more efficient and stress free, it seems to come at someone’s expense. In the world of Optometry, we are faced with new technology on a daily basis in all areas of our profession from the medical to the retail end. As of late, companies such as EyeNetra, Opternative and 6 over 6 have changed the face of optometry. Most optometrists feel that technology has put our profession in jeopardy. Has it really? Have we really looked at all aspects of the latest cutting edge technology? Have we looked at how we could use these technologies in our practices? Although I do not endorse any of the aforementioned, I would like to take a closer look at how we perceive newer technology in optometry. Before implementing any technology into a practice, one should always ask themselves two questions.
- Will This Help Enhance Patient Care?
We optometrists took an oath to put patient care first. Every day I see patients, I take this oath seriously and abide by it for every patient. If technology is in favor of helping a patient and enhancing their lifestyle, I am all for it. However, if the technology puts a patient at risk, we must band together to eliminate such technology.
- Is it Lucrative to the Profession and Practice?
Before money comes into play, the patient’s interest is always my top concern. Again we took an oath and it’s imperative to abide by it. Although patient care is our top priority, let’s face it…optometry is a business that can be extremely lucrative. We must structure our practices such that they will continue to grow and allows us to provide for our families. If the technology helps to move our profession forward and is lucrative to our practice, I am all for it. The key is to place the profession first before your practice.
Although new technology seems scary and puts the optometric industry in jeopardy, I think there is a place for some of it. Using the above questions will help guide you on how to determine in which direction and what role technology will take in optometry. Recently, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly and I started an Optometry Podcast, Defocus Media, where we discuss the latest in optometric news and in eyewear trends. We recently had the privilege to interview Vitor Pamplona of EyeNetra. We picked Vitor’s brain and asked the tough questions about how his technology has impacted the optometric profession. Our first interview will go live next week.