YOU CAN’T GET MUCH MORE USER FRIENDLY THAN LOOKING INTO A MIRROR , AND THAT’S JUST HOW THESE DEVICES SIMPLIFY MEASURING YOUR PATIENTS FOR EYEWEAR .
Like many skeptics, you may have brushed aside digital fitting and measurement devices. This is not a surprise, since eyecare profes-sionals (ECPs) have often met early editions of technology with apprehension. From auto-lensome try to integration, this initial hes-itancy has not been unfounded. However, the technology’s natural evolution warrants a second look at these measurement de-vices. Advancements in ease of use, accuracy of measurements and financial incentives might be enough to sway some skeptics.
EASE OF USE
Early measurement systems required frame attachments, multiple photos and manual adjustments for each encounter. This is no longer the case with every device. The Automeyes webtool is compatible with all digital camer-as and does not require external frame attachments or proprietary equipment. Once the customer signs up, the image is simply up-loaded, marked and calculated, providing a quick set of fitting measurements.
The new SparkMi by Shamir does not require an external frame attachment. The M’eyefit Mirror by Essilor Instruments does use an external frame attachment. With each of the devices, the patient simply gazes into a mirror that photographs the patient. Only one photo is required from one angle to accomplish the task. The SparkMi is also able to measure the patient in clear or tinted lenses.
The i.Terminal 2 and i.Terminal Mobile from ZEISS are able to ac-complish complex measurements and lens recommendations based upon only two quick photos. This method of measurement is up to 60% quicker than traditional mea-surement methods, according to ZEISS. As with most systems, the optician is provided with vertex, pantoscopic tilt, frame wrap, mon-ocular distance PD, fitting height, A, B, and DBL measurements. Optikam as well as HOYA’s Spectangle Pro provide an ex-tensive augmented reality feature that can be installed on up to five devices with only one license. These augmented reality apps include lens design simulation as well as lens cleaning simulation. This is a clear advantage over the “hourglass” drawings that have been used in the past to demon-strate lenses and that have clut-tered our dispensing tables since the advent of the progressive era.
The SpecTech from Walman Optical and the ABS SmartMir-ror also offer augmented reality functions. These functions use an iPad or mobile device for capture, allowing patients to scan their natural environment through the device.
Digital measuring devices can enhance the result of today’s free-form lens designs. While tradition-al pupilometers offered opticians half millimeter increments, digital measuring devices are calibrated to tenths of millimeters. ZEISS estimates that traditional mea-surement errors can decrease lens performance by up to 40%. Early measurement systems were highly dependent upon patient posture in order to receive an accurate result, but this is no longer the case with many newer versions. Optikam and HOYA’s Spectan-gle Pro are not dependent upon patient head posture for an ac-ceptable result. Both of these devices have also recently updated their algorithms on the back end of the product for a more finely tuned result.
The i.Terminal 2 and i.Terminal Mobile are able to compensate for head rotation and posture. ZEISS states that the i.Terminal 2 is 84% more accurate than manual mea-surement.
The latest release of the Spark-Mi is able to record accurate mea-surements as long as the patient is within 15-35 inches of the device. The early version of the Spark was highly dependent upon patient posture as well as the angle of the iPad device.
The ABS SmartMirror and the SpecTech have the ability to record patients’ natural reading distance and posture in order to recommend a more specific lens design. Traditional measurement methods completely ignore near reading posture and natural gaze of each patient. The result of tradi-tional measurements is a “one size fits all” approach to near vision. Since today’s progressive lens de-signs offer custom near inset and custom corridor lengths, these tools help the dispenser fully utilize this technology.
Rebates: Device purchases through laboratories and lens manufacturers may often be offset by digital lens rebates. ZEISS, HOYA and Shamir have programs to offset purchase price. Shamir and Essilor also have rewards programs whereby devices may be purchased using loyalty points.
Tax incentives: The i.Terminal 2 and i.Terminal Mobile by ZEISS are designed to adjust for head rotation, they qualify for an ADA tax credit under Section 44 and Section 190 of the IRS tax code (some IRS restrictions may apply). All device purchases may also qualify for standard deductions in the tax code.
Insurance Incentives: Some insurance providers including VSP allow providers to collect “custom measurement fees” from the patient when selling free-form lenses with custom measurements. Although these fees may only average $10 per patient, they can add up quickly.
Tax credits, rebates and patient fees are the “front-side” economic benefits of digital measurement implementation. But there are many additional financial benefits of digital measurement devices. Potential for reduced remakes and fewer lens adaptation issues may impact overall practice net profit. Augmented reality features may also aid in selling lens upgrades and enhancements. While every device may not fit each practice, they are certainly worthy of a second consideration.
Mark Clark, ABOC, is founder of iProfit Group, a healthcare investment consulting firm.
WHERE TO FIND IT: ABS, Inc. 888.989.4227 • Smart-Mirror.com/en • Info@Smart-Mirror.com // Automeyes Optical Solutions 877.725.8654 • Automeyes.com • Sales@Automeyes.com // Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc. 800.358.8258 • Zeiss.com/Lenses • Customer.Service@Zeiss.com // Essilor Instruments USA 855.393.4647 EssilorInstrumentsUSA.com • Info@EssilorInstrumentsUSA.com // HOYA Vision Care, North America 877.528.1939 • HoyaVision.com • SalesSupport@HoyaVision.com // Optikam Tech, Inc. 888.356.3311 • Optikam.com • Sales@Optikam.com // Shamir Insight, Inc. 877.514.8330 • SparkMi.com • Info@ShamirLens.com // Walman Optical 877.863.2759 • Walman.com