PATIENT POWER

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Demonstrations on the i.Terminal 2 by Carl Zeiss covers lens types and product tiers.

The patient education modules in virtual try-on systems are a win-win for both your patients and staff.

How many hours a day do you spend educating patients on the benefits of new lens designs, treatments, or tinting options? Thanks to the patient education modules built into electronic eyewear selection and information systems (EESIS), that “problem” has become less of a staff strain. With patients busy tapping touch screens, they can see themselves in several different frames and lens material options, freeing your staff for other important tasks—like helping other patients. Because more patients can be seen simultaneously and because the modules feature products and add-ons you actually carry, patients tend to be impressed. They tell their friends. They buy more frames. And lo and behold, your sales increase.

MAKING AN IMPACT
Joel Wolf, the owner of Village Opticians in Whiting, NJ, says being able to physically show patients the thickness of a lens or the difference in various progressive addition lenses (PALs) thanks to the information provided by EESIS has made a significant difference in his lens sales of premium products. “I cater to an older population,” he says, “so being able to demonstrate how one lens works over another is much better than using paper and pen, which I used to do a lot.” Wolf is a fan of Optikam by Optikam Tech, Inc., which he says has made the biggest impact in his office, not just among his patients but in how his office is now perceived.

Earl Sandler, OD, of San Diego, CA-based Carmel Mountain Vision Care, agrees, and says having such a system (his office uses the i.Terminal 2® by Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.) has enhanced the value of his practice with its “wow” factor.

Visioffice by Essilor offers patients results from its patient education module in approximately 20 seconds.

SEEING IS BELIEVING
And for patients who’ve ever struggled to choose a frame, or have difficulty seeing what they look like without their glasses on (pretty much most of your patients), these systems are a welcome addition to any practice. In addition, most have the capability to take a variety of measurements, thus increasing an optical shop’s efficiency with an all-in-one device. Here’s a rundown of available options.

i.TERMINAL 2
The i.Terminal 2 has a try-on system that allows patients to compare photos of themselves in up to four different frames. The demonstration covers lens types and product tiers (for example, ordinary progressives to highly customized progressives), materials, anti-reflective (AR) treatments, self-tinting lenses, and sun lens options. Different product tiers are compared using a patient-friendly star rating system (the way hotels do). In addition, the system takes all the necessary measurements to achieve a perfect fit for standard or customized lenses and has a consultation mode that facilitates lens and frame selection.

For accurate distance PD measurements, a patented laser speckle target system allows patients’ eyes to relax for a more accurate calculation. A computerized measurement system processes both frontal and profile images automatically, measuring monocular interpupillary distances, fitting heights, pantoscopic angle, vertex distance, and frame wrap to an accuracy of 0.1mm. Of special note: the device’s ability to cater to highly ametropic consumers and any size or wrap of frame including large-sized sunglasses and sports frames.

Many eyecare professionals (ECPs) appreciate its intuitive software, with options for touch-screen operation and automated recognition of suspect measurements, while patients like the education function—lens treatments and sun options are explained through animations. All of which leads to additional buys. Says Sandler: “We have been able to prescribe high-end PALs and aberration-reducing lenses, which of course relates to high-end lenses and an increase in our sales.”

With the eyewear selection module on the Smart Centration E-column (manufactured by A.B.S.), patients can get a brief tutorial in lens options.

SMART CENTRATION E-COLUMN
With the eyewear selection module on the Smart Centration E-column (manufactured by A.B.S. Inc., the makers of Smart Mirror), your patients can see how they look in a host of new frames; they also get a brief tutorial in lens options such as AR treatments, aspheric lenses, and digitally surfaced lenses. The module is particularly helpful with simulations which show a patient photochromic and polarized lenses, as well as visual comfort. With this highly personalized experience, patients’ prescriptions are also recorded so they can compare various lens thickness and weight options.

Celina Klare, store manager of Goo Goo Eyes in Dallas, TX, says the system has helped increase sales by enhancing the patient optical experience. “So many people walk in with a prescription and have this deer-in-the-headlights look because they didn’t realize all that goes into purchasing a pair of glasses. Smart Centration is a fantastic tool because it helps show patients how a progressive lens works, why they need non-glare or polarized lenses, and it even helps them see what they look like in the frames they have chosen,” she explains.

OPTIKAM
Simply by sitting at a dispensing table—the Optikam unit is small enough to replace a mirror—patients can access the unit’s patient education module and get an education on various medical conditions. The system also features a presentation geared towards teaching first-time contact lens wearers on how to insert contacts. The module not only enhances patient experiences, but cuts down on the time your staff would need to explain and demonstrate products.

According to the company, patients especially enjoy trying on different frames, then taking digital pictures that can be viewed on a monitor with side-by-side comparisons. Pictures can either be emailed or printed to show friends or family for that all-important second opinion. One picture is all it takes. This all-in-one unit touchscreen unit is fitted with an 8.0 megapixel digital camera and features a patented EY-Stick which means ECPs can take all the measurements needed for free-form lenses in less than one minute. For practices with limited counter space, the desktop model can be wall-mounted or installed on a free-standing tower.

By means of a patented swing assembly on the EY-Stick, the optician can very quickly capture the patient’s natural head posture without placing the camera at the same eye level as the patient. Measurements obtained from a single picture include pupillary distance, seg heights, pantoscopic tilt (panto), vertex (RVD), wrap, near pupillary distance, as well as A, B, ED and DBL frame measurements.

Optikam’s patient education module informs patients about various medical conditions.

VISIOFFICE
Personalized simulations, interactive animations, lens treatment demonstrations, and a lifestyle questionnaire—a series of simple questions to help patients find out which lens is best suited for them—make up the Visioffice® patient education module. This system, by Essilor of America, Inc., offers patients results in approximately 20 seconds. The tagline of the module is to “design your own vision” and everything about it is individualized to the user.

What makes this unit different is its attention to the 3D position of the Eye Rotation Center (or ERC), where eyes rotate around a fixed point for each eye. This means ECPs can dispense Essilor’s exclusive Eyecode™ lenses, taking into consideration a person’s natural head posture. Interactive sales support tools create personalized demonstrations for every patient and offer recommendations for the best lens solution for a given prescription or lifestyle. These exclusive measurements allow ECPs to dispense Essilor’s exclusive Varilux S 4D Technology™, Varilux® Eyecode, and Varilux Ipseo® lenses.

Patients who require corrective lenses benefit most from the precision of the Visioffice system’s advanced measurement tools, resulting in a more personalized visual solution. The system also helps patients select frames and learn about the features and benefits of various lens designs, materials, and treatments through interactive and user- friendly videos covering everything from basic optics to the latest generation in lens technology.

Jeanne Muchnick is Managing Editor of VCPN.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

A.B.S., Inc.
888-989-4227 • smart-mirror.com/en

Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.
800-358-8258 • zeiss.com/lenses

Essilor of America, Inc.
800-542-5668 • essilorusa.com

Optikam Tech, Inc.
888-356-3311 • optikam.com

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