|The ECHO iPad app offers on-screen drawing capabilities, and gives ECPs the ability to e-mail presentations to patients and to download desired content to the iPad.|
New applications for mobile devices are making life easier for ECPs and patients alike.
With new apps emerging almost daily, frame styling, patient instruction and education, reference accessibility, and lens calculations and measurements are easier than ever to figure out. And useful, inexpensive—sometimes free—iPad and iPhone apps in these categories are just a click (or tap) away.
|The Eye Handbook serves as a reference and diagnostic tool for ECPs.|
ECHO is offered with the new cloud-based software solution for patient education from Eyemaginations. Eyecare professionals (ECPs) can wirelessly sync their collections of optical presentations from their online ECHO accounts to their iPads with the touch of a button. Featuring the latest in iPad-related innovation and features, the ECHO iPad app offers on-screen drawing capabilities, and gives ECPs the ability to e-mail presentations to patients and to download desired content to the iPad.
Many ECPs use OCT (optical coherence tomography) testing in their offices to obtain detailed images of a patient’s retina to detect diseases. Historically, these ECPs could only show patients still images. With the OCT Browser application, however, ECPs can convert 3D images into portable, iPad-friendly files that can be sent to mobile devices and shared with the patient or other ECPs. Taking OCT images from still to 3D on an iPad brings optical mapping into the 21st century—and impresses patients!
|Practice Makes Perfect In an office focused heavily on technology, my position at Insight Complete Eye Care in Dallas, TX, has me interacting with patients daily and they continually remark that they have “never had an experience like this before” as they leave the office. From the Optomap and OCT screenings, education through applications on our iPads, and advanced try-on systems out in the dispensary, technology is the primary factor that sets our office apart from others in our area. Obviously a knowledgeable doctor, friendly staff, and great product all contribute to the satisfaction of every patient, but our technology is what people remark about the most.|
Another great tool to make an office more effective is the paging system app from OnPage.
|With Hoya’s Vision Consultant Viewer, ECPs can clearly illustrate what a patient can expect from new lenses.|
This mobile app allows messaging and paging from smartphones as well as large group messaging through its online management console. OnPage works with smartphones and tablets, and provides secure HIPAA-compliant communication among staff members. Featuring a dedicated inbox and outbox with read/receipt notification capabilities and an audit trail for compliance, OnPage also promotes professional and private communication. Whether there is an ocular emergency the ECP needs to be aware of in the middle of an exam or the ECP simply wants to message a technician without yelling down the hall, this system is easy and convenient. With most employees already utilizing smartphones, there is no need to purchase new and expensive hardware. The swifter, more discreet communication capabilities this product provides will help streamline any practice.
Another great application that can be utilized in the office or at home is the Eye Handbook.
|With the OCT Browser, ECPs can convert 3D images into portable, iPad-friendly files that can be sent to mobile devices and shared with the patient or other ECPs.|
Available for iPad, iPhone, and Android, the Eye Handbook serves as a reference and diagnostic tool for ECPs. With the ability to transpose prescriptions, convert vertex distances, perform intraocular lens calculations, and convert diopters to radius, the calculator feature alone is worth the download. This application provides a reference for ophthalmic insurance coding, a flash card option for creating study tools for boards or recertification tests, a reference menu to find other ECPs in your field, and selected American Academy of Ophthalmology content such as patient education videos and preferred practice patterns. This extensive application also references available equipment on the market.
|On the Platform Why are so many apps produced for the iPad and iPhone while other platforms, like Android, have far fewer available to them? According to developers, the answer is that Apple’s iPad has one type of operating system. That means that everyone who wants to develop an app uses the same programming structure and knows the capabilities of that structure. With Android, there are several operating systems, such as Jelly Bean and Honeycomb. If you want to produce an app for the Android market, you have to decide which operating system to design for, otherwise you’ll need to create multiple versions of the same app, possibly with different functionalities.|
HOYA VISION CARE
Eyeglass purchases are a big financial decision for most patients, and educational apps like the Vision Consultant Viewer from HOYA VISION CARE, North America, allow ECPs to clearly illustrate what a patient can expect from new lenses. With calculators that illustrate how thick a lens will be (depending on prescription strength) and how magnified or minimized an eye will look through lenses featuring different indexes based on the patient’s prescription, options that your patient once regarded as add-ons will now be considered necessities.
Educating and entertaining your patients, the right apps can maximize the effectiveness of your office communications, revealing the importance of eye health and testing, and reaffirming your patients’ confidence in not only your knowledge, but your products as well. These are easy and cost-effective ways to bring your office into the 21st century: While your office upgrades to expensive technology that allows better imaging and more extensive health examinations, don’t forget to also upgrade the rest of your practice. From the waiting area to the contact lens technician’s room and into the dispensary, an app can go a long way in making your practice stand apart from the rest.
Sarah Hobbs is a fashion blogger and certified optician at Insight Complete Eye Care in Dallas, TX.
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