No, software cannot replace an eye doctor!

No, software cannot replace an eye doctor!
Photo: http://www.eyesonlearning.org

Ever since the founding of Smart Optometry in 2015, we’ve been contacted by people and companies who were thrilled to hear that they could get their eyes tested and treated without visiting doctor’s office.

WELL, NOT SO QUICKLY! This kind of misconceptions are very frequent when it comes to digital solutions in eye care. We were sad to see them disappointed when we told them that this couldn’t be farther from the truth: eye care specialists (ODs, optometrists, VTODs, orthoptics…) are essential for any eye diagnosis or vision therapy! Our solutions are all created in a way that – yes, they can be used without professional supervision, yet everyone is always advised to seek professional advice, let alone eye examination by a professional.

In a perfect world…

… every child receives a professional eye exam by a certified eye specialist and – if needed – is given the correct treatment for whatever problem is occurred. No software can provide professional-level of eye diagnosis and no home-based vision therapy software can deliver the same results as in-office VT sessions. However, VT software can complement the in-office VT session, by helping parents and their kids perform their daily VT homework tasks in a more engaging way. This daily routine is at the core of fast and efficient improvement of visual functions and can speed up the whole process significantly. This is by far the best way how AmblyoPlay is used to help all stakeholders: doctors, parents and kids!

Yet, many people cannot either afford an in-office vision therapy due to the costs or due to logistical problems. For them, AmblyoPlay can serve as a tool that despite the lack of professional guidance helps them tackle the problems. The algorithms are constantly adapting the training program to individuals need thus providing optimal results that software-based VT can deliver. After all, the main benefit of AmblyoPlay is improvement of compliance of vision therapy: due to engaging gameplay, it is being used regularly and this regularity is the main reason for significantly improved results.

One important note is also that not all eye care specialists possess up-to-date knowledge about solving problems such as lazy eye. There is quite a prevalent group of specialists that dismiss vision therapy as a method, despite very strong (scientifically based) arguments in favor of vision therapy. In such cases even specialists can give misleading advice and leave the parents to fight this problem on their own – either by seeking another professional opinion, resorting to home-based solutions for VT or – ideally in these cases – combining both!

Technology is not the enemy – we just have to use it wisely

21st Century brought with it an immense technological progress which saw most of the industries disrupted significantly. The way we gather information, book hotels or order taxi services are just among the most common examples of that. Brick and mortar stores are slowly giving place to global e-commerce giants who deliver everything to your front door. It is completely normal that digitalization touched even some parts of the society that are considered almost sacred – healthcare included.

Software solutions for vision therapy are not the enemy but only an additional tool that can help patients and their parents achieve good results faster. To those less fortunate they can even be the only option. This does not mean that doctors are excluded from the process: on the contrary! Doctors should always be included if only made possible with the circumstances of the families involved.

Goal is clear: helping kids with lazy eye

In the end, the only thing that really matters is an improvement in visual function of the patients and improvement of their quality of life! There are many ways to achieve this and being dismissive just for the fear of the unknown or because of the uncertainty – really does no one any good. We are proud to have already touched the lives of more than 2,500 parents and kids worldwide who saw great results! Let’s continue this discussion: share your views with us at [email protected]!

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