Glasgow-based IbisVision has announced it is accelerating the rollout of its remote optometrist solution to aid UK and US eyecare specialists.
The company says it intends to hire staff in both the UK and the US to help boost knowledge of products and services for optometrists and opticians and help with the booking of eye-care assessments.
IbisVision’s platform will help optical professionals to examine a patient’s eyes remotely using a variety of tests including 24–2, Amsler Grid, Ishihara Colour and Visual Acuity. This allows for appointments, assessments and prescriptions without any need for close contact.
Lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic have imposed limitations on what businesses and professionals are able to do, with some predicting ongoing restrictions in some form for months or even years ahead. The firm’s tech could be ‘lifechanging’ for patients who are currently unable to visit their eyecare specialist.
Commenting on the accelerated rollout, Commercial Director at IbisVision, Melville Berwick, said: “Whilst we could never have foreseen the circumstances that we all face now, the Covid-19 pandemic has added real urgency to our efforts at IbisVision and validated our remote optometrist technology focus.
“Put simply, our technology could be the factor in saving someone’s eyesight. By allowing optometrists the ability to undertake a comprehensive eye test without having to meet up with the patient, we are playing our part in ensuring that we find our way through these difficult times.
“I’d encourage all eyecare specialist individuals and businesses to come and talk to us and see how we can help them continue to operate under these most trying conditions.”
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The company says the tech could support recommendations from the College of Optometrists, which in its Covid-19 guidance is advising for “strict policies to ensure the potentially deadly virus is not spread through patient-optometrist contact.”
One of the key recommendations is to ensure that an initial video or telephone consultation is undertaken to determine the eyecare that may be required and whether the patient may be suffering from Covid symptoms.
IbisVision said its technology will allow this stage to encompass a far greater range of activities, and “may ultimately negate the need” for an in-person consultation.
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Going forward, IbisVision says the technology will allow for eyecare specialists “to ensure they can treat a wider range of patients,” who are currently “challenged in visiting their optometrist due to illness, mobility or location issues.”
The platform, which has already been trialled by opticians, has also demonstrated “increased functionality independent of its distance applications,” such as reducing the space needed in a practice, freeing up room for retail activities.
Funding for the rollout is being provided by investment from Miami-based Compiler Venture Capital, which also facilitates IbisVision’s entry into the US optical health market.
As well as this, IbisVision has also received funding in the form of two awards from Innovate UK. The firm said that the combined funding, as well as supporting this rollout, will allow it to target growth areas such as “remote refraction” and “clinician-led remote examination and disease monitoring”.