Calgary-based leading eye care clinic unveils its latest flagship location, showcasing the latest optometry technologies and improving patient digital experience 

FYidoctors, a division of FYihealth group, announces the grand opening of its new flagship location in Calgary, Alberta. Founded in 2008, FYidoctors is Canada’s largest doctor-owned and doctor-led optometrist. FYidoctors has over 375 locations across Canada employing over 630 doctors and more than 2,300 team members. The company proudly has 47 clinics in Alberta making them one the most established eye care service provider in the province.

Located in Calgary at 102 – 2424 4th Street SW, this unique 3,000 square foot clinic offers personalized eye care using state-of-the-art optometric technology and carries a wide selection of exclusive brands, including Cartier, BonLook, H Halston, Chopard and more. This clinic also has the largest FYidoctors exam room in Canada and is conveniently located on the ground level of the FYihealth group head offices. This location carries over 45 brands of optical eyewear and offers an unparalleled number of frames with more than 2,000 frames in clinic. It is also a hospitality-orientated, ‘guest-centric’ shopping environment.

Unique to this FYidoctors location is a fully customizable digital storefront display wall facing street traffic. New interactive digital media is utilized throughout the clinic space to educate and engage our patients. Additionally, a unique “FYidoctors scent” is used throughout the clinic to stimulate the olfactory senses of patients while browsing.

The clinic’s waiting area is designed to be more relaxed and comfortable, creating an opportunity for our patients to enjoy their time at the clinic. With top-of-the-line materials, the overall clinic purchasing experience is improved with exceptional acoustics, lighting, digital touch points, and interactive messaging.

“This clinic, its design, and the technology it offers is what we have as a vision for our entire network across Canada at FYidoctors. It exemplifies what FYidoctors has become as a leader in patient care in Canada and we are very proud to provide such a wide range of services and products to our patients,” says Dr. Alan Ulsifer, CEO & Chair of FYihealth group.

“Since moving our corporate Home Office to Mission in 2015, it has been our vision to create a flagship location at street level to effectively showcase our brand.  I am so excited to see this dream come to life and for our team to be able to enhance the lives of the local community through the eye care and services we provide,” added Darcy Verhun, President of FYihealth group.

The four optometrists based out of Mission Square bring over 112 years of optometry education and knowledge. With a goal to offer the best optometric experience and to have answers to all the patients’ questions answered, Mission Square’s Lead

Optometrist, Dr. Bunny Virk, shares “the clinic is fully equipped with the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment for early detection and management of all forms of acute and chronic eye conditions. In addition, our clinic will have the WAM800, an advanced diagnostic device in the optometric industry.”

Additional technology including the IPL/Radio Frequency Darwin treatment device, corneal topography, meibography, retinal widefield imaging, and the latest lens technology (duo-form lenses exclusive to FYidoctors with precise measurements (opitkam)), will all be available at this flagship location.

FYidoctors have built this space to be welcome to patients from all demographics, which can be seen through the customized wheelchair accessible room and friendly staff. To continue the progression of the services offered, the new FYidoctors University space will be opening soon, less than ten steps away and right across the hall, to help support the current and future team members with training and education of new Optometrists.

This is a sponsored post by FYihealth group. 


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FYidoctors innovation and technology

For over two decades, or most of his career, Kevin Bingham has been dedicating his time to improving and prioritizing the function of Information Technology (IT) and Innovation in the workplace.

As the Vice President of Innovation and IT at FYihealth group, Kevin works closely with the companies’ multiple teams to improve the overall utility and value of IT hardware, software assets and services while also keeping a focus on customer experience.

Through capitalizing on new technologies, mindful organizational change management and adding expertise to his growing team, Kevin’s efforts ensure that the organization is always at the forefront of innovation.

CEO and Chair of FYihealth group, Dr. Alan Ulsifer, remains heavily invested in the development and utilization of technology as it continues to be a significant area of focus for the future growth of the organization.

We caught up with Kevin and some of FYi’s influential Optometrists involved in innovative technology, Dr. Michael Kaplan, based in Toronto, and Dr. Bunny Virk, in Calgary. They shared how innovation and IT are pivotal to patient care at both the leadership and clinic level to support the organization’s growth.

Fostering a Solution-Seeking-Mindset to Innovation and Technology
“Technology advancements are at the forefront of our organization, and decisions are made to support them,” shares Kevin Bingham.

”FYi has invested millions of dollars into Cyber Security to protect patient confidentiality, along with completing a digital evolution for its Shopify eCommerce platform to deliver a first-in-class digital patient omnichannel experience. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we provided innovative technology for social distancing while still delivering eye care quickly and responding to our patients’ needs,” Kevin added.

“FYi also developed a virtual try-on tool that allows patients to try on glasses in the comfort of their own home and speak to a representative online, thus creating a completely virtual shopping experience.

All these initiatives support the growth and future of FYidoctors and, in 2021, FYidoctors won the Canadian HR Award for ‘Most Innovative use of Technology.”

Technology Focused for Future Growth
“Our company views the IT department as an investment into our organization,” Kevin shared in his interview. FYi considers technology to be one of the driving factors for success and sees the benefits of a forward-thinking approach to technology advancements.

Kevin added: “the IT team comprises over 75 full-time employees, two of whom have been with us since our inception in 2008, and employs four team members for IT project management for all the mergers, projects, and implementation of new software updates.”

As an example, when a new clinic joins the FYi network, it is a top priority for our team members to get in place efficiently so the new team can be up and running and serving patients on day one of operations.

Undergoing integration is an extensive process, and our team shares with the new clinics the process starting with, “where the business is now” and mapping out “where we (FYi) are taking them.”

This information sharing process allows the new clinics to have a clear vision of their technology roadmap for all their members, and for their patients’ files.

This approach supports every clinic towards a smooth integration to the FYi network, which includes platforms like the Acuitas Practice Management System and NetSuite.

The Evolving Technology to Support Patient Care
”Technology advancements have helped provide a more accurate and comprehensive eye examination and patient education tools,” explains Dr. Michael Kaplan, FYidoctors Optometrist. “It allows us to see the finer details of the tissue we are examining, follow any subtle changes over time, and provide better diagnosis and proactive intervention”.

Dr. Kaplan added. FYi optometrists are optimistic about the continuing evolution of technology to help provide earlier detection of diseases and ways of treating them before the damage has already been done.

“Looking into the future, potentially, a device including artificial intelligence (AI) would enhance our diagnostic abilities for much earlier detection and preventative measures. AI would integrate with our current technologies to help with earlier detection for patients,” shares Dr. Bunny Virk, FYidoctors Optometrist in Calgary.

Exam Technology Findings and Looking into the Future
“We use a wide range of technologies in our exam rooms, including Wide Field Retinal Imaging/Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Biometers to help with the newly emerging field of myopia management, ILux, IPL and RF to help assist with dry eye disease, and Heidelberg Retinal Tomography (HRT) to help detect glaucoma,” explained Dr. Kaplan.

Dr.  Virk added that “innovations in contact lens materials and designs have helped with the lenses’ comfort, health, and vision. The contact lens advancements and measurement techniques have allowed us to treat individuals with corneal pathologies and transplants to improve vision, which was previously difficult. A device that works well is Corneal Topography, which measures the cornea like a topographical map for detecting early corneal pathologies and degenerations.”

All these technological advancements are a great aid in providing quality eye care for FYi’s patients.

FYihealth group is committed to providing the highest quality patient care to enhance lives across North America. It strives to be a prevalent healthcare company in the marketplace by continuing to foster conversations regarding innovation and evaluate benchmarks in technology.

This is a sponsored post by FYihealth group.


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Technology rivers of Change

The speaker list for the inaugural  “Changing Landscapes: Opportunities & Options for Canadian ECPs” event has been announced by Eye Care Business Canada.  

The first of three events will focus on technology drivers of change and be held Monday October 25th (7:30 PM Eastern). 
Industry thought-leaders will share their insights as to what technologies will have the greatest impact on eye care and eyewear in a Canadian market context.  

Speaker List Includes:

  • Dr. Alan Ulsifer, CEO and Chairman of the Board, FYidoctors
  • Dr. David Schwirtz, VP Innovation, IRIS Group
  • Dr. Trevor Miranda, Cowichan Eyecare BC, Independent Optometrist
  • Dr. Damon Umscheid, Eyes 360, Okotoks, AB, Eye Recommend
  • Naomi Barber, Director of Optometry, SpecSavers

The event series will be moderated by Roxanne Arnal, OD and Certified Financial Planner (TM), bringing an informed and unique perspective to the events.

Tele-optometry, impact of omni-channel selling and remote face trace technology enabling touchless ophthalmic lens dispensing are among the factors to be discussed.  

Event registration is now open. Click Here for Details. 


Eye Recommend  


Digital ECP

Follow up Events: 

The second and third events will be held on consecutive Monday evenings starting at 7:30 PM (Eastern). 

Selling & Buying a Practice (November 1) 
In the second event Industry experts will provide perspectives on the current state of play in the Canadian practice acquisition market. A must attend event if you are considering an exit strategy or looking to buy a practice. 
Click Here for Detailed Information.

Career Pathfinders: Making Informed Choices (November 8th)  
Career options and opportunities for both young and experienced ODs have never been greater as new organizations offering unique business models enter the market and established entities respond to the changing environment.
Click Here for Detailed Information. 

Click here to register for any of the Changing Landscape Events 



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Dr. David Schwirtz, Optometrist, Vice President Innovation, IRIS the Visual Group, shares his views on technology advances and the importance of ensuring that technology remains at the centre of patient care, creating a better experience for both the patient and the practitioner.


About the Guest

Dr. Schwirtz joined IRIS the Visual Group in 2009 as a clinician and completed a residency in 2010.  

In more recent years, Dr. Schwirtz has continued to serve IRIS The Visual Group as a Vice President.  In the past, his responsibilities have included Professional Relations, Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs and Professional Development.  Today, he continues his leadership role at IRIS as Vice President of Innovation and Head of Innovation for New Look Vision Group.

Outside of his executive role at IRIS, Dr. Schwirtz remains active as a practicing optometrist in the network and adjunct assistant clinical professor for his alma mater, Pacific University College of Optometry.



Episode Notes

Dr. David Schwirtz is a self-confessed technology nerd, with a keen sense of technology’s role in the patient journey.

He discusses the challenges of implementing new technologies particularly from the perspective a large corporation, where not all stakeholders move at the same pace of adoption.

Dr. Schwirtz details how the pandemic accelerated plans that had already been in place and, yet, how a brick and mortar structure provided resilience to their initiatives.

Specifically, he delves into IRIS’s ongoing relationship with Topology which provides a comfortable “perfect fit” with extreme accuracy, outside of the walls of a conventional practice.

He shares the vision of where Topology technology can take the group.



Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. He owns and manages two practices in Toronto. In 2009, he co-hosted a podcast produced for colleagues in eye care, the “International Optometry Podcast”. He is a moderator of the Canadian Optometry Group, an email forum for Canadian optometrists. As  a host of  “Eyes Wide Open”, Glenn  looks forward to exploring new new technologies and services for eye care professionals.

Dr. Chiasson enjoys tennis, hockey, and reading. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

Dr. Chiasson splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Roxanne Arnal.


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Eye Care Business Canada and have announced the meeting dates for a three-part series, “Changing Landscapes: Opportunities & Options for Canadian ECPs”.

The three-event series will start on Monday October 25th (7:30 PM Eastern) and will run on three consecutive weeks  i.e. Monday, November 1st  and Monday, November 8th.

The series will debut Eye Care Business Canada’s platform for digital events and feature  industry thought leaders from Canada’s leading eye care organizations, each contributing their perspectives to important topics of relevance to optometrists and optical professionals in the current, always changing, environment.

The event series will be moderated by Roxanne Arnal, OD and Certified Financial Planner, bringing an informed and unique perspective to the events.

Technology Drives Change

The first event (October 25th)  will  delve into the key technology factors expected to impact the future of professional practice in the near term. Tele-optometry, impact of omni-channel selling and remote face trace technology enabling touchless ophthalmic lens dispensing are among the factors to be discussed.

Whether or not professions embrace emerging technologies or avoid them, there is no denying technology’s potential game changing role in both the clinical and commercial side of practice.

Follow up Events: Buying & Selling and Career Paths

Has COVID changed the valuations of eye care practices?

Industry experts will provide perspectives on the current state of play in the Canadian practice acquisition market.

Current owners and astute prospective owners seeking opportunity will hear from and meet first-hand through the virtual platform in the second event Monday, November 1.

Career options and opportunities or both young and experienced ODs have never been greater as new organizations offering unique business models enter the market and established entities respond to the changing environment.

Career Pathfinders: Making Smart Career Choices is the topic of the third event on Monday, November 8th.

Event registration is now open. Click Here for Details. 




Limited Premium, Partner and Friend sponsorships are still available.

For organizations wishing to sponsor a virtual table at any of the events, please contact for further information.

Event Details:

Changing Landscapes Webinar: Technology Drivers of Change

Changing Landscapes Webinar: Selling & Buying a Practice

Changing Landscapes Webinar: Career Pathfinders: Making Choices


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In our last article, we discussed the importance of having an Employee Handbook. This time, we wanted to specifically address an issue we often get asked about: what the rules around cell phone, office computer for personal things, and accessing personal email should be.

Technology has introduced an interesting quandary: while technology can improve office efficiency and productivity, there is also a concern that personal use of technology can decrease an employee’s efficiency and productivity. Let’s begin by addressing cell phone use. There are some programs now that require an employee to sign into their EMR account with a two-step process that includes receiving a code on their phone to gain access. In these cases, the employees must have access to their cell phones at all times. And access will inevitably mean use.

Many owners worry, rightly so, about the loss of productivity in these cases. However, there is another school of thought. What if having access to their phone increases their workplace satisfaction and that happiness translates into more productive employees?

According to Forbes magazine in an article entitled “Promoting Employee Happiness Benefits Everyone” dated December 13, 2017, Happy employees are also good new for organizations: The stock prices of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase. Perhaps the best course of action is to set some clear expectations around discrete cell phone use. Many offices find it helps to implement a policy of keeping cell phones in drawers – out of sight out of mind – when not needed.

It is imperative that employees are discouraged from using practice computers or email for personal use. This restriction has less to do with decreased productivity and more to do with the risks associated with viruses and breaches in security. Setting up a practice email is fairly easy through email. This way the owner or office manager can also keep an eye on email transactions to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Almost everyone uses Google, both for business and personal use. In order to create clear line between the two, consider setting up a laptop in the “staff area/lunch room” that can be used for personal searches. This type of set up will set up the right expectations and make it easy to do so.

Whatever your policy is, make sure you outline every detail of it in your employee manual so that your expectations around this is very clear. Technology is changing the face of how we do business and how we organize our personal lives. We need to embrace technology in our practices to stay relevant in today’s marketplace. Setting clear expectations for personal use of technology will make it easier for all involved.



is the co-founder and managing partner of Simple Innovative Management Ideas (SIMI) Inc. and expert Practice Management contributor for Optik magazine. She can be reached at


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Technology has been changing our practices for a long time, and will continue to do so. Here are five “digital transformations” spotlighted recently in Forbes magazine, and how we think our own industry will be impacted.

Healthcare is changing with the introduction of telemedicine; mobility and cloud access; wearables and the internet of things; artificial intelligence and big data; and empowered consumers.

Eighty percent of doctors surveyed in 2015, believed that telemedicine is a better way to manage chronic disease than just seeing patients through a traditional office visit. As the Baby Boomers age the amount of chronic disease that we manage will increase significantly. Having the ability to utilize telemedicine to help manage chronic disease will be a great benefit to the patients we see. Through telemedicine the patient is not limited to the geographic location of the doctor’s office. With an internet connection and a smartphone, telemedicine will enhance the doctor-patient relationship.

With the camera feature of today’s smartphone, it will be easier to triage some patients between the categories of urgent and emergent. It may also help make the decision whether the patient should go straight to the hospital, or instead come to the eye doctor’s office.

Online refractions hold the potential of helping to manage patients with out-of-control diabetes, who have rapidly changing refractions, or those young patients who are rapidly growing and have changing refractions.

Telemedicine will also give us the ability to transmit to other doctors from whom we are seeking consults, information in real time about the patient who may be sitting in our chair. This may help us triage the difference between categories of patients such as urgent and emergent.

Mobility And Cloud Access
For the doctor, both mobility and cloud access can help deliver better patient care. The doctor can access patient records on the home computer or on the smartphone while on-call. This has the potential of delivering both better and faster care while on-call. It also gives the ability to answer questions from a specialist about a patient whom you’re sharing care with if you happen to be out of the office.

Cloud access is the computing platform of the future. Because of its superiority, eventually it will be used by everyone.

Wearables And IoT

Wearables are here to stay. Just count the number of Google or Apple watches on people’s wrists. Every year the number is getting higher. Even eyeglass frames are beginning to utilize wearable technology. Frames are being designed to identify if the patient has fallen and not gotten up.

Wearable technology in eyeglass frames includes activity tracking technology (e.g.: Level Smart Glasses ) that does things such as step counting, calories burned and distance traveled. 3-D displays and facial recognition are two of the more exciting things (or incredibly scary things) that will be incorporated into glasses in the near future. By the way, if you misplace your glasses, with wearable technology in your frames, you can easily find them.

Contact lenses are being developed with built-in technology. Google scientists have created the contact lenses that can measure the blood sugar in your tears.

The Internet of things (IoT) is really about the inter-connectivity and inter-operability of all of our electronic devices within the internet infrastructure. IoT is going to expand exponentially over the next decade. It will become the way that we do everything. Everyone we know who has seen Tony Stark’s computer J.A.R.V.I.S. wants one. It’s just a matter of time. This will change the way we do business in the office, as well as changing the way we do things at home.

Artificial Intelligence And Big Data
Artificial intelligence is one of the most exciting technological changes that will help doctors in dealing with patients. Differential diagnosis and interactions between both prescribed drugs and other chemicals patients are putting into their bodies are just two of the significant ways that artificial intelligence can contribute to the eye examination and treatment plans of the patients we see.

Artificial intelligence offers the ability to review the patient’s chart and suggest differential diagnoses that we may have overlooked. It has the ability to analyze all medications and all substances consumed by the patient looking for both positive and negative interactions with the drugs we are considering prescribing for the patient.

Big data also has a role in improving patient care. Once we are all linked together electronically, we can see the results of every treatment plan prescribed to every patient everywhere. This will give us much better insight into evidence-based medicine. It will also quickly identify those patients who are not best served by standard protocols, and instead would benefit from some other form of treatment. Subtleties and nuances will not be overlooked.

Empowered Consumers
Knowledge is power. If you haven’t read about the “Empowered Consumer,” then read this article from Forbes. The Empowered Consumer is already in our offices. These patients exhibit the following:

• With smartphone in hand they are driven by their ability to try before you buy, return at will and click their way to new options and choices.

• They check sources before making a decision, using sources such as Amazon comments and their social network of friends.

• They expect you to understand their needs, their history and everything, from the way they engage, to what they’ve done in the past. (Do you track your patients this closely? Starbucks does. Most major retailers do.)

The Forbes article recommends that we do the following:
• Connect with consumers on the tech platform of their choice.

• Provide a brand-safe platform.

• Drive contextual content relevance.

• Utilize analytics-driven decision making.

• Maximize engagement.

The future is now. Take this week to review how your practice is preparing for the changes coming soon to healthcare.




Dr. Wright is the founding partner of a nine-partner, three-location full-scope optometric practice. As CEO of Pathways to Success, an internet-based practice management firm, he works with practices of all sizes. He is faculty coordinator for Ohio State’s leading practice management program.


Dr. Burns is the senior partner of a nine-doctor full-scope optometric practice that she built with her husband, Dr. Wright. She is also the COO of a state-wide nursing care optometry practice. Dr. Burns lectures nationally on practice management and staffing issues. Dr. Burns authored the Specialty Practice section of the textbook, Business Aspects of Optometry.


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