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 



0 / 5. 0

Existing technologies configured in a new way sometimes creates new and potentially disruptive services. That’s what DigitalOptometrics, a New York based start up, is aiming for with the launch of its remote “full eye exam” tele-optometry service.

Using the combination of high definition teleconferencing, remote operated equipment and proprietary software, Digital Optometrics is providing full service eye examinations and eyewear prescriptions, all within regulatory boundaries according to company spokesperson Matthew Ruskin.

How does it work? After taking a kiosk-based medical history, a remotely located ophthalmic technician performs the subjective refraction while engaging the patient using a real-time remote video conference unit. A licensed optometrist checks the exam findings, discusses them via live video conferencing and delivers the patients optical RX within minutes. 

The NY-based company demonstrated the remote eye exam on willing “patients” at Vision Expo recently.  A NY licensed OD residing in Oregon, with the help of an onsite assistant, performed the eye health examination, including the use of a remote slit-lamp and a refraction.

What’s the business model?
Digital Optometrics provides a turnkey solution complete with the remote OD services and charges $45 US for a regular Eye Exam and $60 for a CL Examination. The company is focusing on refracting lanes in Optical outlets that are vacant for many hours of the week.  The tele-optometry solution allows the optician to fill their examination lane and, of course, generate an eyewear prescription which can be filled in the adjacent eye wear gallery.

The ECP is responsible for purchase and installation of the requisite equipment. Digital Optometrics provides a list of requirements, which includes a Riechert Remote Phoropter, video slit lamp camera, and a fundus camera. Digital Optometrics works closely to bring offers from all ophthalmic equipment manufacturers and their distributors, including their promotions and sales specials to assist in the set up.

The hardware and software installation includes comprehensive practice training which focuses on equipment software systems, forms and programs. Owner/Operator and onsite tech training includes interactive dialogue with the listed available Digital Optometrics ODs.

While this business opportunity appears to align with the general acceptance of telehealth technology and the changing demographics of the eye health providers, the guidelines from the American and Canadian associations of optometry reflect a cautionary attitude.

Dr. Trevor Miranda, who is actively involved with Care 1 telemedicine network, believes that the sharing economy where you can maximise unused resources, whether it’s taxis or optometric services, may find its place especially for start-up optometrists through opticals.  He adds however, “It’s really hard to replicate a very good anterior segment examination right now. When you look at the corneas, are you going to push on the gland?  Who’s doing that?” Miranda’s colleague Dr. Mike Kim adds, “I seriously doubt it will be a huge significant proportion of the overall patient care. The doctor-patient relationship can’t  be even closely replicated via technology from a screen.”

For now, Digital Optometrics is focused in the Tri-State region surrounding New York City, but does have international ambitions, including in Canada and Latin America.



1 / 5. 1