Done right, there are many apps that can enhance the patient experience and lead to increased revenues for ECPs.
Within just a few moments of initiating a search, ECPs can find a multitude of optical apps. Put some apps on an updated mobile device (usually an iPad), and they can deliver patient education resources such as videos, brochures, and product demonstrations. Here are my top picks for the general eye-care professional.
Contact lens designs (spherical, bitoric, front toric, and back toric gas permeable lenses) are explained with the pros and cons of the different lens options. It also has a vertexing calculator for converting from the spectacle to corneal plane and an oblique cross cylinder calculator. The app works for both plus and minus cylinders with a user-friendly onscreen keyboard that is both fast and a pleasure to use.
Developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, this free app contains an incredible amount of information such as patient education videos, flash cards, lectures, an eye disease atlas, eye tests (color vision, amsler grid), ICD-9 codes, medication reference, optical calculators, and a built-in fluorescein light.
GENIUS SCAN — PDF SCANNER
A handy free app, Genius Scan scans any kind of paper, note, bill, etc. into PDF files, so you can catalog them and refer to them later. It can export to any cloud service and save and share over WiFi. Documents can be protected with a touch ID and encrypted with a password. It’s convenient and easy.
OPTICS CLINICAL CALCULATOR
This app contains several calculators used for prescribing lenses
and understanding optics, each with detailed explanations, including formulas and clinical notes. Calculators include ones for base curve calculations, convergence, diopters from focal distance, intermediate and near vision prescriptions from standard refractions, lens power in oblique meridians, optical center decentration, slab-off calculator (induced prism) vertex distance, and oblique cross cylinders.
While not vast, this app contains enough important calculators to be a dispenser’s go-to application. It includes six commonly used lens calculators: vertex distance, effective diameter, lensometry help, transposition, lens thickness estimation, induced prism, and a progressive lens mark-up aid.
With clear graphics and an intuitive interface, Lens Calc is designed
for speed and ease of use. (Note:
There are a few lens calculator apps. This one is from Optical Directions Consulting.)
OPTICAL CONTACT LENS CALCULATOR
This is a great reference tool for the experienced contact lens fitter who deals with toric lenses. It has a spherocylindrical over-refraction calculator that computes oblique crossed cylinders. This is very useful for calculating toric lens reorders based on lens rotation and over refractions.
VISION CARE INSTITUTE CLINICAL GRADING SCALES
This free app comes in handy when evaluating common eye conditions such as bulbar redness, limbal redness, lid redness, lid roughness, corneal staining, and meibomian gland dysfunction. One clever feature is the touch technology with real-time animation to compare a condition’s severity level to “œnormal.” It also has guides on slit lamp illumination techniques, corneal inflammation vs. infection, and signs of oxygen deficiency, staining, and lid assessments. The app is interactive and informative and has excellent graphics and professional text.
Keep It Together with Evernote
Both in and out of your practice, Evernote is a great productivity app. It can create and edit text notes; to-dos and task lists; save, sync, and share files; scan business cards; and record voice and audio notes. All of your notes can then be synced across all of the computers and devices you use, including the Apple Watch. Evernote also allows all of your text to be searchable so if you forget where you cataloged something, one quick search will find it for you. The basic version of this app is free. Prices vary for more robust functionality.
Kara Pasner is in private practice in Brooklyn, NY, and Whiting, NJ, and is the refraction coordinator and clinical optometrist in the Vision Care Technology Department at New York College of Technology, CUNY, in Brooklyn.