Findings from a recently published empirical peer reviewed study conducted by the Université de Montréal (UdeM) unveils that the advanced technology Topology, used by New Look Vision Group, is the leading technology-supported purchasing method online.

Topology is a technology that uses the latest advances in 3D facial scanning and augmented reality to enable customers to take the necessary ultra-precise measurements needed to produce high-quality glasses.

The article, which has been published in the Journal Optometry and Vision Science, surveyed 30 people over 50 years old to test complex progressive prescriptions. It compared how three online eyewear retailers’ technology-based services (New Look powered by Topology and two major online eyewear retailers) fare against the U de M School of Optometry store. The research parameters primarily included the accuracy of the measurement, fitting and comfort upon delivery, and overall satisfaction.

The findings from the study uncover positive advancements in online prescription eyewear purchasing and identify Topology as a leading tool. Notable highlights include:

  •   The quality of Topology’s measurements – namely pupillary half-distances and ocular height – is comparable to the measurements taken in person by UdeM eye care professionals.
  •   Topology is the only technology that takes measurements for the production of personalized lenses (requiring a greater number of accurate measurements) when buying online.
  •   Topology’s measurements are more accurate, allowing for clearer vision compared to two major online eyewear retailers.
  •   Topology was ranked higher than the two other major online eyewear retailers by eye care professionals for frame adjustments to fit the wearer. In fact, with Topology, a personalized adjustment is made before shipping. New Look Vision Group is the only retailer to offer this service.
  •   Overall, customers who use Topology technology to purchase prescription glasses online can benefit from an experience that is close to an in-person purchase in store.

The preliminary study results were released in November 2022 prior to publication. 

The researchers concluded. “Basic lens centration measurements obtained with Topology compare well with those of opticians, but some aspects of the methodology for measuring personalization parameters could be improved. In comparison with two established online vendors, resulting measurements with Topology are more consistent. Initial wearer satisfaction with Topology eyeglasses was also better.”

“I am thrilled that an independent study confirms that New Look Vision Group’s app, which was conceived from a partnership with Topology, is the most accurate on the market. This represents years of extensive testing and a significant advance that will give confidence to people wishing to buy prescription glasses online, while providing an alternative solution with the same quality as in-store purchases.” says Jean-Michel Maltais, Senior Vice President Omnichannel, New Look Vision Group.

“This new technology from Topology represents a significant advance in the industry, compared to the traditional model of buying glasses online. The basic parameters allowing the production of quality progressive glasses are comparable to those obtained in-store. It is also likely that the higher visual comfort provided by Topology, compared to the other online retailers evaluated, is due to its ability to take measurements for the production of personalized lenses. This technology presents online eyewear shoppers with numerous advantages compared to what existed before and performs better on many levels.’’, mentions Nicolas Fontaine, Optometrist and University lecturer and researcher at the Optometry School of Université de Montréal.

“People are increasingly looking to online methods of shopping, and the app represents a new type of interaction with your mobile phone. It uses the latest 3D technology to scan 30,000 data points on a person’s face, taking ultra-precise measurements. This level of precision ensures a high-touch consumer experience, custom-fit frames (customer’s choice) and optimal comfort”, says Dr. Schwirtz, Optometrist and Vice President Innovation within the New Look Vision Group.

Digital health technologies are improving access to healthcare services for more people than ever before. Consumers now have more reliable options to choose from, and the comparative study by UdeM shows that New Look Vision Group’s app powered by Topology, which is available from its banners New Look, IRIS and Greiche & Scaff, is helping to transform the eye care industry by allowing customers to confidently shop for prescription eyewear from the comfort of their own home.



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The Ontario Colleges of Opticians and the Ontario College of Optometrists jointly filed an application in December 2016, as is their right under Ontario legislation, to request the Court to issue an order to Clearly to comply with Ontario’s Regulated Health Protection Act and the related Optician Act and Optometry Act. The case was heard in October 2017 and the court rendered its decision on January 11, 2018.

The Ontario Supreme court ruled in favour of the Colleges of Opticianry and Optometry, ordering Clearly to comply with Ontario regulations. For those not inclined to read the 31-page decision by Justice J. Lederer, here is a synopsis of the key points in rendering his decision in favour of the Colleges.

The Investigation

The Colleges used the investigative services of a legal firm to purchase eyeglasses online from While the site has clear notices regarding the requirement for an up-to-date prescription, the investigators were able to find links on the site that allowed them to proceed to order glasses without meeting the requirement of a valid prescription. The investigation details the use of the site and interactions with non-professional and professionally trained staff (Optician) based in the British Columbia head of office of Clearly. In each case, glasses from Clearly were delivered to their respective customers in Ontario.

Eyewear:  Consumer Retail Product or Health Care Delivery?

The Court distilled the case down to the definition of “dispensing” as a “controlled act” that is imbedded in the related health legislation and regulations of the province of Ontario.

Submissions by Clearly argued that the rise of e-commerce is satisfying consumers’ demand for more choice and competition, and implied, according the decision, that the Colleges are complicit in a wider effort of professional associations and colleges to protect competitive advantage in the market.

The Court however dismisses this argument as unhelpful and irrelevant. “It could be right. It could be wrong. It does not respond to the issues at hand,” wrote Justice Lederer in the decision.

The judge noted that basis for the decision lay in the underlying purpose of Ontario’s regulated health professionals legislative framework. Unlike British Columbia, where legislation was changed in 2010 to reflect a purpose of consumer choice and enhanced competition, such is not the case in Ontario, where the framework of professional monopolies exists to deliver health care while protecting the interests of Ontario residents. The decision reads, “There is no justification for imposing the purpose of health professional legislation from British Columbia on those who reside in Ontario.”

Why Were Optometrists in Quebec Unsuccessful in Blocking Internet Sales?

A similar action taken by the Ordre des optometrists du Quebec v. Coastal Contacts Inc.  ruled in favour of the company against the Ordre (College) in December 2014. What was different then and there?

Turns out, words do matter!  The Quebec case is distinguishable in the detailed definition of the practice of Optometry in Quebec’s code, which includes the words “sale and replacement of ophthalmic lenses.” The decision in the Quebec case is driven by the word “sale”. The law of British Columbia ruled the day since it was determined that the sales contract between the company and the resident was substantially entered into in BC, and that the product was only “delivered” to a resident in Quebec.

“Dispensing is qualitatively different than selling”, wrote the Justice. As such, notwithstanding the position held by the Company and their attempt to draw parallels with various classes of pharmaceutical agents, the Judge returns to the basic tenets of the Ontario Legislation; “…what professional (optometrists and optician) is responsible for providing the health care associated with obtaining eyeglasses and contact lenses (“prescribing”, ”preparing”, ”fitting”, “adjusting”, “adapting” over the internet from Coastal and Clearly?  I repeat, apparently this is not one.”

No Harm, No Foul

Clearly’s counsel additionally submitted that controlled acts should be narrowly interpreted and that evidence of “risk of harm” is a requirement of the Colleges; “Despite the recommendations of two seasoned regulatory law firms, the colleges have not introduced any evidence of the risk of harm.”

The Court however held that the risk of harm assessment is intrinsic to the controlled act (“Dispensing”) definition in the related legislation and that the Court has no role in the risk assessment of harm. To suggest otherwise, is, according to the decision, “…to negate the value of the regulation.”

 So, Now What?

Clearly is appealing the decision. While the appeal process is underway, Clearly plans to continue to service customers in Ontario.

Clearly representatives advised the following; “Clearly is committed to making vision care accessible worldwide and believes that the Internet is complementary to other distribution channels”, says Clearly Managing Director Arnaud Bussieres. “Clearly is well-known for accessibility, affordability, consumer satisfaction and quality of service throughout its eighteen years in business,” added Bussieres.

According the company, Clearly has a history of engaging in dialogue with optometrists and opticians across Canada to find areas of collaboration and ways to provide better products to consumers. “We don’t see this decision impacting our progress and ambitions of working directly with eyecare professionals to address opportunities for additional vision care access in the market,” commented Bussieres.

The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO), upon request, indicated they were “not in a position” to comment, given that the application was brought on jointly by the College of Optometrists and College of Opticians.

A statement from the Ontario Association of Opticians was not available at the time of publishing.



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