Next time you need a new pair of glasses, rather than having to run off to your doctor to get a prescription you may be able to instead just stare into the SVOne device for a few minutes. NY1's Adam Balkin has the Tech Talk report.
Telemedicine is the ability to have your doctor check on you without, thanks to technology, you and a doctor actually being in the same room, maybe not even the same state.
The first example of this you may start seeing is via a device from Smart Vision Labs called the SVOne. Rather than having to go the eye doctor, then go to the eyeglass store, the store itself can issue you a basic vision test on the spot through what is essentially a tricked-out iPhone.
“This is for refraction exam only, AKA only for your eyewear prescription. It’s not for eye health, and we very strongly recommend our users to go to the doctor for the eye health part," says Smart Vision Labs CEO Yaopeng Zhou. "But if you just want to renew your prescription or you lost your eye glasses, urgency or something, then this device is the solution."
After the test is done, the data is then sent to an eye doctor, who will either write the prescription for you or, if he or she notices some sort of issue with the data, will write you a referral to then see an eye doctor in person.
Big places like LensCrafters or PearlVision have little use for a device like this. They can keep an eye doctor on site at all times. For mom and pop shops, though, that’s just too expensive.
"For small stores, it’s not economical to have a doctor all the time. No, it is not," says John Fuoco of Devonshire Optical. "People are hurried. They want to do it when they want to do it. They want to get their eye exam, they want to get on with their life, and you can't have them every day of the week. It just doesn’t fill up."
Right now, as part of a pilot project, the SVOnes are in several glasses shops in New York City. The plan is to go national by end of the year.
Developers are also working on getting the devices into developing countries, where there is little to no access to doctors at all.