Virtual care solutions being the first stop for appointments can make a huge difference to day-to-day practices in optometry. Remote triage is already being successfully implemented in other healthcare industries and is now trickling out into other sectors where it can, and will be, extremely effective.
It is a virtual solution, also often referred to as tele-triage, that can help you to manage patient capacity. It comes in different forms depending on the industry but essentially it is a way for patients to be screened before their clinician decides on the pathway that is best for them. This can be through video consultations, forms, questionnaires, and anything else specific to that industry.
In optometry there are numerous pain points which need to be solved. Some of these include:
– Emergency appointments
– Lack of staff
– Waiting lists
– Limited optometrist coverage
Plus, much more.
Remote-triage can offer a solution to this with a way to effectively manage fluctuations in appointments, appointment durations and encourage attendance from patients. Remote triage is the perfect way to enhance and improve the patient experience, especially in optometry where time savings in practice make all the difference to both the patient and optometrist.
When looking for remote-triage solutions in optometry, IbisVision has one to be considered. We have a built-in triage solution within our IBIS-Connect platform that can allow you to carry out remote triage hassle-free and save you time and money in-practice. Find out more about what we offer, here.
Remote-triage could help you transform your patient journey, save staff time and give you the flexibility required in a busy optometry space.
Get in touch with our team today to find out more about using tele-triage to your advantage. Contact Us.
Telemedicine has been growing in popularity for some time with more and more organisations taking it into account when planning new ways of working and interacting. And while it’s a great development and step to take in moving your business forward, it also comes with a lot of hard work and planning in order to integrate it successfully. Firstly, you need to look at what to consider when choosing your telemedicine provider; take a look at our previous blog on exactly what you need to know, here. Once you’ve chosen your provider, you need to understand how you can successfully implement their technology into your organisation. This entails integrating in some way into your existing systems and updating processes, as well as ensuring your staff know how to use it.
We’ve looked at some of the key steps you can take to successfully integrate telemedicine technology into your business that will set you up for success.
Ensure that the technology will fit into what you’re already using within your business. You should check with your technology partner everything that will be required of your business to successfully connect all systems together. It’s also worth asking if they will demonstrate and validate how the technology can fit with what you already have or how you can adapt what you’re currently using.
To maximise the uptake of your new telemedicine solution with both patients and staff, it’s a good idea to design a strategy that will encourage both to use it. Outline exactly how it will benefit both parties and communicate exact launch dates and milestones, so everyone is primed and ready to start using it.
Adjusting your current processes will be key. If you want to achieve successful outcomes, ensure that your staff know what your expectations are of using the technology. Similarly, remember to ask them what their expectations are too. This should align perspectives and keep everyone on the same page on how and when to use your new telemedicine solution.
Make a solid plan for getting patients ready for a new way of working with your organisation. As important as it is for staff to understand how to use the new system, it’s equally as important to make sure your patients have some pointers on how to use it too. Plan a way for them to see a walk-through of your new solution or gather some simple instructions to send out to them beforehand.
After initially implementing your new technology, it’s a good idea to hear how things are going from both staff and patients. This can help to identify any issues or bottlenecks being caused by using the system, and it can also show what’s working too.
This list includes but is not limited to some of the key things you can do to integrate telemedicine technology successfully into your business operations. To find out more about IbisVision’s telemedicine solution for optometry, click here.
The demand for home eye care services is set to surge in the coming years as a result of the UK’s ageing population (aop.org.uk). There are many opportunities within this sector for optometrists, especially as myths have started to be busted on the technology used in this line of work. Technology can massively help to support domiciliary care and access to this is growing in the sector. IbisVision is one such platform that has the tools to do this and help your business.
Flexibility and accessibility
Our platform can be used anywhere, all that’s required is a device and an internet connection. Compatible devices include a laptop, smartphone, tablet or desktop. This makes it portable and easy for the optometrists to take out on the road with them to visit each patient, or even perform some tasks remotely if required.
A variety of online tests
IBIS-Connect has a variety of online eye tests that can be completed anywhere using the devices mentioned above. Choose from a selection of tests including:
– Crowded Logmar
– Open Logmar
– Random E
– ICN Vision Test
– Kay’s Optotypes
Access all of these tests online and in one place via our platform.
If you’re looking for a remote option as well as a portable solution, IBIS-Connect is perfect for you. With our platform you have the ability to be anywhere when completing remote eye tests or triage. Connect with your patients on their devices at home while you’re in the office or out and about, it’s as simple as that.
Triage is often a time-consuming part of the eye testing process. That’s why we have all the tools that you need on our platform to complete triage in-person or remotely before you see your patient. We have live video conferencing available as well as questionnaire building abilities in our platform to allow you to gather all the necessary information you need for your patient. If you do not wish to complete triage remotely, our questionnaire and note taking functions are perfect for in-person visits too.
Find out more about our platform and how it can support domiciliary optometry by getting in touch with us today, here.
Since 2020 the number of people with glaucoma worldwide has surpassed 80 million and it is expected to pass 111 million by 2040 (Eyes on Eyecare). To help tackle this issue, new solutions are being developed and brought to market. And, with these new solutions has come technology that is bringing more accurate monitoring as well as aids to predicting disease progression. Diagnosing glaucoma and detecting it can often be a challenging assignment; technology is now allowing us to press forward and find new ways to support this. With glaucoma being a disease where the risk increases with age, it’s vital we find solutions to help combat the sight loss that comes from it.
A popular topic of late, telemedicine, can do much to help with this. Telemedicine began growing in popularity throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In a 2021 survey conducted by Capitena Young et al, about 50% of glaucoma providers stated that they planned to continue using telemedicine after the pandemic. And this has definitely been the case with numerous solutions coming to market in the last two years and there’s no signs of that slowing down anytime soon. So, what’s out there?
Innovative platforms exist with the capability to assess vision from anywhere, something that can strongly support eye care professionals in their day-to-day practice. Firstly, eye exams like those on our IBIS-Connect platform are one such example. Our tests can be used for remote testing and remote monitoring and our Visual Fields and Amsler tests can even help doctors to identify if there is a risk of glaucoma. The optometrist is directly linked to the patient, allowing an effective way to monitor progression. There are other solutions out there too; the Peek Acuity app, developed by the International Centre for Eye Health in London, evaluates distance vision and was even provided funding by the International Glaucoma Association.
Using telemedicine for glaucoma screening has many benefits. In countries where there are large numbers, it can reduce the need for in-person appointments and allow the time in-practice to be used for those who require more in-depth consultations and treatment. In developing countries with high-risk populations, remote glaucoma screening is often able to detect high rates of the disease and identify patients who need further care to avoid potentially irreversible vision loss.
From all these recent developments over the past few years, the future of glaucoma monitoring is clear; it is going to involve some aspect of telemedicine. Remote consultations, check-ups and follow-ups are going to help in detecting and keeping track of glaucoma progression. As mentioned above, IbisVision has tests on our platform that are very fitting when it comes to monitoring glaucoma and supporting eye care professionals in detecting it. Find out more about our tele-optometry platform, here.
Remote patient monitoring extends the reach of caregivers, potentially improving patient outcomes and reducing costs for both the patient and provider. This kind of technology is now often used as a healthcare delivery method to monitor a patient’s health outside of clinical settings while still maintaining a connection with the healthcare provider.
Healthcare organisations are using technology more and more as a method of patient monitoring. It’s a real time-saver for professionals and saves the patient from travelling to and from follow-up appointments. Optometry is one sector that could benefit from this kind of solution and has the potential to follow suit and embrace a new way of delivering care.
Our platform has a multitude of uses and with a live connection to the optometrist, IBIS-Connect can facilitate a number of different types of appointments. Of course, one of the main reasons an optometrist uses IBIS-Connect is for remote eye examinations but what else do we support?
Our technology allows for the relationship between the optometrist and patient to be maintained and remote monitoring capabilities are a key part of our platform. Whether you need a verbal check-in or to complete a few eye exams online, there’s something to suit each type of appointment. And of course, it gives the eye care professional the opportunity to assess whether a patient needs to visit them in-person, saving time and costs to both.
Take a look at our IBIS-Connect platform and see for yourself by booking a demo with our team. You can do this by clicking, here.
With technology constantly advancing, it’s no surprise that we have some exciting changes coming our way in the sector. Staying ahead of the curve can be good, as well as staying aware of what’s to come too. This knowledge is vital in having an outlook on exactly where the sector is going so, let’s look at some trends to look out for this year.
Technology and its increased levels of adoption have changed many job roles in recent years across multiple sectors. Optometry is no different with refraction and imaging being some of the things that could be impacted by AI. And, with online eye testing having already arrived in the sector, it makes sense that other elements eye care could be next to experience some transformation with AI. The question that many are asking is, will AI replace the optometrist? This is not likely to happen, but it could become an optometrists best friend given how it can complement and aid the work being done in practice. We should not shy away from such advances in technology; AI gives us the opportunity to make eye care more accessible to many more people and help to save sight.
By 2050, nearly 50% of the world’s population will be diagnosed with myopia. It looks like there is much work to be done in 2023 and beyond to come up with solutions to the condition. Part of the solutions we are already seeing is the encouragement of children to spend more time outdoors and less time doing ‘intense near vision activities.’ Current trends indicate that the severity of myopia is increasing and for many, leading to high myopia. There are more discussions to be had this year on the issue and in the UK, major events such as 100% Optical are featuring educational sessions to drive more awareness. It’s safe to say that in 2023, myopia will be considered in the planning of eye care services, this will likely include refractive services such as spectacles and managing and preventing vision loss.
Telemedicine trends are moving along nicely for 2023. Development is only going to continue this year into telemedicine and with multiple ways in which it can be used, it presents various opportunities to fit into an eye care organisation. Many will use it to replace steps in the patient journey while others will use a hybrid approach to integrate telemedicine solutions alongside current processes. There’s much to look out for in this space and prepare for to keep up with the fast-moving pace of telemedicine and all that comes with it.
2023 is said to be the year that smart eyewear begins to make its mark. It may not have taken over yet, but its time is still to come. Meta recently announced that they are purchasing smart eyewear company, Luxexcel which has the capability to produce 3D printed lenses. With this announcement along with the rise of other smart eyewear technology, we will likely see more and more smart glasses coming to market. Smart glasses are set to transform the user experience and companies are now working to see how AR glasses can fit into our daily lives. Watch this space.
The impact on the environment is a continuous and important topic of conversation. The eye care community is attempting to help in its own way by looking at producing more sustainable eyewear. Consumers can also help to push for sustainable alternatives too. Companies such as Couco Eyewear are encouraging customers to turn their old glasses into sunglasses and others in the industry are following suit with similar initiatives. If consumers opt to utilise these then we are well on our way to making a difference.
The above trends are all equally important to be aware of in 2023. They will each play an integral part in progressing the industry throughout this year and beyond. As technology evolves in the sector, we are sure to see many patients and optometrists journey’s transformed; and we think, for the better.
IbisVision is playing its part in the optometry trends of 2023 by continuing to supply our telemedicine solution, IBIS-Connect to the sector. Find out more about our platform and what we’re doing for the industry, here.
Consumer trends can move fast in many industries, and the optometry sector in particular is beginning to see the effects of hastening digital trends. Keeping up with these trends can be a big task and it can be difficult to navigate exactly how we should be engaging with consumers from month to month.
Engagement is vital in attracting customers but also in retaining them too. How we engage often determines how successful the entire consumer journey is from start to finish. In the optical sector specifically, it’s important to consider what is important to patients, what you want to get from engaging with them and also the means in which you engage with them.
We’re sure you’ll find it unsurprising that online engagement is key in keeping up with your target audience. With 6.6 billion smartphone users in 2022 (oberlo.co.uk), it would be silly not to consider taking digital methods of engagement into account. What digital avenues should we explore?
Digital advertisements boost your exposure in a multitude of ways. Utilising your social media channels allows for potential patients beyond your audience to see and interact with your content and digital ads are a perfect way to do this. As well as this, combining paid advertising with your organic social efforts will allow double the exposure and different segments of your audience to get the chance to engage with you.
Email marketing is ideal for engaging with your current consumer base but also with any consumers who have signed up to your newsletters or interacted with your social media advertisements. Using email campaigns allows you to send out targeted content to different segments of your lists allowing for maximum engagement.
Video is a growing marketing engagement tool which will continue to expand as digital content becomes the norm over other types of content. 79% of marketers who weren’t using video planned to build a video strategy in 2022 and 99% of those who are already using it are planning to use it more (hubspot.com). Video allows for you to really showcase your business and what you can offer your consumer, it’s also an engaging and efficient way of interacting with your audience.
Compelling calls to actions are what encourage your audience to really engage with you. Eye catching calls to actions that will lead to a useful interaction for the consumer are vital in encouraging their engagement. Here are some examples of intriguing calls to action from Hubspot.
Patient success stories and testimonials will ensure that you gain the trust of your consumer in order for them to interact with you. Sharing success stories are a great way to engage with your current consumer base as well as potential patients. In healthcare sectors especially, we know the patient will be looking for knowledge that they can trust your organisation before interacting with you. Nuffield Trust has stated that “there are many benefits that can accrue from a trusting relationship, including open communication of information, improved adherence to medical advice, improvement of health outcomes and better patient experience.” Therefore, attempting to build this trust through better engagement and the sharing of other patient experiences can only help to obtain the above mentioned benefits for you and your patients.
These methods of engagement are not an exhaustive list but a good indicator or where to start or where to look at refreshing or improving. IbisVision understands the patient journey and how engagement can fit into improving outcomes for our optometrist and patient users. IBIS-Engage is a part of our platform that allows for engagement before the patient has even booked an appointment for an online eye test. Find out more about this by getting in touch with our team here, or you can see more information on IBIS-Engage, here.
IbisVision, the leading developer of remote ophthalmic technology, will roll-out its new refraction-based eye tests in the US as it seeks to tap into expertise in the world’s largest eyecare market and expand the number of early adopters it works with to help patients access eyecare more easily.
The Glasgow, Scotland-based company will be attending Vision Expo in Las Vegas in September where it hopes to conclude agreements with a number of US-based forward-looking eyecare groups. At the event IbisVision will be connecting with leading companies including VSP Vision, Topcon Healthcare and Essilor.
While the company already has extensive networks in the UK and works with the state-sponsored National Health Service, most recently on a project to extend childhood eyecare, the US is a vast and varied ophthalmic industry. The sector there dwarfs other markets and is a hotbed of technology development which can help IbisVision hone its products for the widest number of companies around the world. The country’s large rural catchment areas and densely populated urban areas, where distance and congestion can limit in-person consultations, also open up huge potential for developing the future of eyecare technology.
IbisVision’s latest technology allows opticians to determine the refractive power for corrective lenses that are needed by patients over a simple internet connection. Until now, the remote technology has been able to determine eyecare issues and the need for corrective lenses as a triage measure which then allowed for later in-person prescription calculations. The unique refraction technology will be added to IbisVision’s fully regulated and compliant platform.
IbisVision’s CEO Mark Roger said “We’ve been ramping up our US operations for some time, but it’s fair to say that the country is now the main focus for our growth and development. The reason is not difficult to see: it’s the global leader in technology; it invests vast amounts at the top end of medical science; and has the range of forward looking businesses who know that optometry among all disciplines has remote technology potential. We already have friends and investors in the US – now we want partners who can deploy our platform and most importantly patients who’ll benefit from our technology.”
Interviews can be arranged by appointment
For more information: Laura Hillhouse, marketing manager: +44 (0) 7414 558 542 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Clarke, press contact: +44 (0) 7887 600 234 email@example.com
For a proudly Glasgow-based company like IbisVision, we are sometimes asked why we have such a global focus. Surely the aim is to shore up our own domestic UK market first before we try and work elsewhere?
The answer to that is an emphatic no – there are rich and varied eyecare markets around the world and already we’ve had a foray into India through our kiosks programme. However, nothing compares to the US when it comes to the size of the market, the various types of clients that we can deal with (from hospitals through to eyecare chains through to healthcare conglomerates), and the market make up in terms of vast physical differences and an ageing population. Put it like this – if we can crack the US first, we will be able to provide our groundbreaking technology to the patients that need it anywhere around the world.
And to get into the US market, one of the best places to be in September is Las Vegas for Vision Expo where the entire US eyecare industry comes together to see the latest technology and solutions. As we said, what happens here is a harbinger of what will happen to the global sector in coming years. We’re looking forward to meeting companies that we hope will be our partners and the myriad of healthcare, technology and business journalists who descend on the city for the event.
In fact, for a Glasgow eyecare company to grow and make a difference in the world, there’s nowhere better to be than a city in the Mojave Desert!
If you’ll be at Vision Expo from the 15th-17th September our team would love to meet you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting with one of our team.
Telemedicine is evolving year on year and adoption is picking up the pace in 2022. Having been taken on by many organisations across the globe, the developments keep on coming in the telemedicine space. And, with the rate of adoption and investment into telemedicine, it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments but whether you are already using a telemedicine solution or are looking to adopt one, finding out what’s happening right now and what’s coming up could be vital to your success in its implementation.
Telemedicine is no longer only a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has accelerated the development of the technology. 74% of patients in the US have said they would use telehealth services (American Hospital Association), so it seems that now is the time to embrace this innovation across the healthcare sector.
Technology is what is pushing telemedicine forward and new devices are rising in the market to accompany this trend. What kind of devices are we talking about? Innovations such as telemonitoring devices, remote monitoring centres and voice recognition are appearing more and more to accompany and push telemedicine to the next level.
Telemedicine is being used by all generations; it’s not limited to any specific demographic and is being adopted by multiple demographics. It is however, proving to be popular among women with 60% of telehealth patients being from that demographic (chghealthcare.com).
Why is it being embraced?
These types of benefits are often hard to come by in face to face care for a number of reasons so it’s expected that the popularity of remote testing will continue well into the future.
Innovation in new telehealth technology is keeping up with medical enhancements and is finding its way into new specialities. It’s also branching out into new methods and ways of reaching patients with Telehealth Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and wearables being on the rise. These could be noted as two of the most prominent trends in telemedicine (acuitykp.com). IoMT tools help clinicians to monitor patients at home and healthcare technology providers are also investing in software that connects patients and physicians through physical devices.
Rural areas where clinics and certain specialities may not be available can benefit hugely from telehealth. This does, however, come with its own challenges as rural areas often have a lack of high-speed internet and a need for technological training. In any case, telemedicine solutions becoming available in rural areas will be an ongoing journey and development piece that will need to be paid close attention to.
Keeping up with telemedicine trends can be a large job on its own but one that’s worthwhile, especially if you are a provider in this space or use it as part of your customer/patient journey. IbisVision is continuously investing in our telemedicine platform and taking on board what our clients are looking for as well as the market with our latest developments.
Find out more about our latest developments, here.
We all know the story – treating patients over the past couple of years has become much more of a challenge as we navigate our way through the Covid pandemic. Even still, while many of us have returned to a normal life without masks and restrictions, in a clinical environment the need to protect patients from disease and limit in-person interaction continues.
So what can we do when this limitation is affecting the health of some of the most vulnerable in society – our children? When childhood eyecare conditions are left untreated they not only can limit the potential of that child in later life, but also place a future burden on our healthcare system that should be avoidable.
That’s the background to a project we’ve undertaken with NHS Forth Valley, Optonet and the Small Business Research Initiative; what does this clinical evaluation of telemedicine mean for the healthcare system?
Childhood myopia is a growing epidemic and the need for access to optometrists and other eye care specialists is vital in allowing parents the information they need as well as the correct care for the child. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that one out of two people have myopia and studies show myopia is becoming more common among children.
This project has allowed us to explore our telemedicine platform in greater detail and allow clinicians across the Forth Valley health board to gain access to our technology and test it for themselves. From this it has been found that home vision testing can be just as accurate as in-person tests. In the above video you’ll have heard clinicians attest to this.
Our work also links with amendments to regulation in Scotland as more people take on the use of telemedicine products. On the 20th of May, the National Health Service (Optical Charges and Payments and General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 were laid before the Scottish Parliament. These 2022 regulations amend for General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) legislation to provide flexibility for GOS to be undertaken using remote facilities.
In the updated 2022 regulations, the existing arrangements for providing GOS using remote facilities continues to apply which is that:
“Remote eye examinations can be claimed using supplementary eye examination reason codes and must involve all the elements of an eye examination undertaken in person with the patient, except tests and procedures which require the physical presence of the patient. A GOS claim cannot be submitted where remote facilities are only used to ask a patient a series of questions to explore their concerns more fully and make a decision regarding whether the patient requires an eye examination.”
These regulations are welcomed as a nod to the developments and adoption in telemedicine and also mean that IbisVision can be used to provide some examinations to the patient from their own home and our work on remote vision testing for children with NHS Forth Valley will comply with current regulations.
The next steps in this revolution in telemedicine in the healthcare system is to carry out further clinical evaluations that will allow for telehealth assessments to become part of the patient journey. This is vital for anyone involved in eye care but also in other medical disciplines as well where eye health can be used to determine other medical conditions. The uses for telemedicine are wide and the opportunities great, all that’s needed is a wider adoption and trust in the technology that will help to transform the clinician and patient journey for the better.
To find out more about the project mentioned above or our telemedicine platform, get in touch with us, here.
There have always been several layers in our passion for ophthalmic telemedicine, producing the leading visual assessment tools that can be used over a simple internet connection. Firstly, we are excited about the prospect of allowing a greater number of people to access eye care, including those who don’t have the means to attend an optician for a variety of reasons. Secondly, we work closely with major eye care companies to see how using our technology leads to efficiencies in the patient journey saving time and costs. Those savings can be invested in further technology and in greater patient coverage.
Now, we are embarking on our most exciting and ground breaking project yet — a process to determine how our technology can be used in conjunction with other medical disciplines, and in a broader health service context, to produce outcomes which are far wider than just those purely related to eye care. That’s why we were particularly honoured to take part in the NHS Scotland-led symposium on 7th July where our technology was discussed along with experts in stroke, cancer, mental health, dementia, diabetes, paediatrics, women’s health and skin conditions. While our technology might only touch on some of these issues, it’s also true that eye care can sometimes give greater insights into other medical conditions.
Just consider the potential if medical practitioners, no matter what specialism, could call upon eye test data to improve and guide their clinical decisions. For example, visual field screening can highlight if a patient has had a stroke or a potential brain tumour. Artificial Intelligence (AI) examination of retinal images can detect risk of cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and more. The recent Scottish National Innovation Event that took place in Murrayfield Stadium reflected this type of innovation in the Scottish healthcare space. Attended by the First Minister and Scottish Government officials as well as healthcare clinicians and technology innovators, the event showcased the types of innovations that can and will complement the healthcare sector going forward. IbisVision’s technology featured in a segment giving detail into how, as part of a current SBRI project with NHS Forth Valley, it can be integrated into the health system to improve the patient journey and assist in health care assessments.
Overall, by cutting the cost and increasing the frequency of eye examinations and opening access to a much wider group of patients, we’re allowing medical professionals across the board to tap into the insights that eye care can provide and improve diagnostic efficiency. For example, patient pre-visit triage can reduce the time they spend in practice and improve patient flow in practices, allowing for greater though put of patients for no extra staff costs. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that through our technology optometry can make an even greater contribution to society.
Contact our team today to find out more – get in touch
IbisVision has worked tirelessly with industry professionals, clinicians, and our expert team to ensure that our remote testing platform reflects an in-practice delivered consultation. We sought support from the individuals mentioned above who have experience in carrying out eye tests everyday giving us not only clinical expertise but also the patient journey experience that is required to help us shape how our product works.
IbisVision is a synchronous system. This means that while the eye test is being done by the patient, the eye care professional is present and talking the patient through the test step by step via an interactive webcam feed. Our platform has been developed with the patient in mind, and you can keep the personalised approach loved by many patients and optical organisations alike.
IbisVision has many standard eye tests and can be undertaken from the IBIS-Connect platform with the patient at home before they even enter the premises. What can you use IBIS-Connect for?
Although carried out remotely, the tests and process are very similar. The only difference is that the appointment is face to face online and instead of waiting in practice, the patient is entered into an online waiting room. To ensure the patient is prepared, when their appointment is scheduled, they will be sent instructions on any questionnaires that need to be completed beforehand and how to join the appointment. It’s a simple process, and much the same as calling up to book an appointment and showing up to the optical branch. The patient makes their appointment and logs in at their allocated time.
In terms of regulatory procedures, in Scotland, regulations were recently amended to confirm that an optometrist can claim their NHS optical vouchers for remote testing appointments. On the 20th May, the National Health Service (Optical Charges and Payments and General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 were laid before the Scottish Parliament. These 2022 regulations amend for General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) legislation to provide flexibility for GOS to be undertaken using remote facilities.
In the updated 2022 Regulations, the existing arrangements for providing GOS using remote facilities continues to apply which is that,
“Remote eye examinations can be claimed using supplementary eye examination reason codes and must involve all the elements of an eye examination undertaken in person with the patient, except tests and procedures which require the physical presence of the patient. A GOS claim cannot be submitted where remote facilities are only used to ask the patient a series of questions to explore their concerns more fully and make a decision regarding whether the patient requires an eye examination.”
These regulations mean IbisVision can be used to provide some examinations to the patient from their own home and comply with current GOS regulations. If you are looking to use IbisVision in other parts of the UK, it may be useful to check your countries legislation on remote eye testing if required.
IbisVision is transforming the patient and optometrist experience with the introduction of online testing in optical organisations. By cutting the cost and frequency of in-practice eye examinations and opening access to a much wider group of patients, we’re allowing eye care professionals across the board to tap into a new way of working that benefits them, their organisations and most of all their patients. For example, patient pre-visit triage can reduce the time they spend in practice and improve patient flow in practices, allowing for greater through put of patients with available resources. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that through our technology, optometry can make an even greater contribution to society.
To find out more about our tele-optometry platform, get in touch with us, here.
Our travels over the past few weeks have been very exciting. We’ve been to Miami, New York and most recently the busiest city in the UK, London. We were there to attend one of the UK’s biggest optical shows, 100% Optical, where we teamed up with our partner Birmingham Optical to showcase our IBIS-Connect platform.
Birmingham Optical, a long-standing force in the UK optometry industry, held an impressive and busy stand over the 3-day event. We met and spoke to several professionals across the industry, showed them our platform and even got to see other optometry technologies in action. It was a weekend of knowledge sharing and forging relationships that will benefit the future of the sector. To also see the growing interest in telemedicine was extremely positive and validated that both IbisVision’s platform and ‘vision’ are right where they need to be.
Attendees of the event were treated to live demonstrations of our platform and our team showed them exactly how it can transform the patient journey. This was a fantastic way to show the optical world how IbisVision is revolutionising the optometry sector here in the UK and further afield. IbisVision also went paperless for this event and directed all of our new contacts online to find out more about us, why not take a look here.
We’re often hearing that the world is changing and we’re moving to new ways of living, working and communicating. Remote working opportunities have become the norm and we’ve been on and off video calls with colleagues, family and friends over the past two years. And this hasn’t just applied to our social and work lives, it has also affected how we interact with other services we need to access. Many of the services that have had to adapt have been in the healthcare sector.
With face-to-face appointments dramatically reduced or stopped altogether, the healthcare industry has had to try and adapt. This is where telemedicine came in, and though not an entirely new concept, it was something that had to be introduced and accelerated in order to support healthcare professionals and their patients. We must also remember that, even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, many patients suffered long wait times and clinicians and healthcare staff were under massive pressure. So, telemedicine providers have sought to solve issues caused by the pandemic but they’re also now here to help us with long-terms solutions that could transform the journey’s of both patients and clinicians alike. So, with all of that being said, how do we go about choosing a telemedicine provider when it’s an entirely new concept for us?
Here’s some advice, hints and tips on what to look out for and what to ask when selecting your provider.
First of all, what is telemedicine?
If you’re not familiar with the concept of telemedicine and the technology that comes with it, it combines two major aspects. The first is in regards to ‘tele’ which relates to the specific method of communicating which in this case is video conferencing or calling. And remember, it’s all about face-to-face, real-time communication. The next aspect is ‘medicine’ which relates to the practice and diagnosis of patients, as well as offering treatments, prevention of illnesses and even remote patient monitoring. We must always be careful though not to confuse telemedicine with telehealth. Telehealth is a concept that relates to any type of remote or online communication in healthcare whether that be a text message or an app that offers tips and advice on managing illnesses. Telemedicine specifically relates to the diagnosis and treatments of patients via online face-to-face interactions.
So, once we’ve understood it, how does it help your organisation?
Telemedicine has many benefits and can fit in to improve processes and solve internal problems your organisation and clinicians and/or staff may have been facing. It can help to reduce waiting times by allowing you to fit in more patients online for slots throughout your day, but an extremely important aspect of telemedicine is the opportunity for remote triage and follow-ups. Telemedicine solutions can give you the ability to speak to patients before they come into your practice or healthcare setting so you can either rule them out of having to come in at all, diagnose and treat anything minor online or know that inviting them for an in-person appointment is absolutely necessary. Not only that, but it could reduce the pressure on staff with less footfall through your doors with a certain percentage of appointments being carried out online, especially when it comes to triage or follow up appointments. It’s important to note that most telemedicine solutions do not seek to phase out face-to-face interactions or clinicians, they are there to support processes already in place and to ensure that the patient and clinician journey run smoothly with less pressure on the organisation.
Now, we must look at which supplier to choose and why!
Map out exactly what you need and are looking for. This is vital as many telemedicine solutions will have different platforms. For example, IbisVision has a telemedicine solution for the optometry sector so would only be relevant to this industry. So, remember to be specific about the area you work in when you embark on your search.
Check out any word-of-mouth recommendations first. It’s well known that referrals are an excellent way of getting new suppliers as there’s a certain element of trust and credibility when we know they have been used successfully elsewhere. If you haven’t heard of any, why not reach out to your peers or colleagues for some suggestions!
Check with professional bodies. If you’re having no luck, try reaching out to your industry’s professional body. Chances are they may be aware of some options that are out there and are useful to your sector.
Evaluate and compare. It’s important that, if possible, you pull together a few options and see what each can do for your business. However, this isn’t always necessary, and you may find the perfect fit right away!
Get to know the provider a little more. Make sure to get a comprehensive demo and even try the platform out for yourself. It’s important you get to know the platform and the team to ensure it’s a good fit for your business.
Evaluate the software. Throughout the demonstration process and conversations with the team, you should look at evaluating the software. Here are some questions to ask yourself when doing this:
Finally, test the product. It’s a good idea to test the product you have chosen and are going to be implementing. This allows you to view the user experience for both your staff and patients. This ensures it fits with what you’re looking for and it also user-friendly enough for you to implement.
These steps should help to set you up for success when choosing your telemedicine provider. Getting your organisation in the right place in the digital space is important when looking to implement telemedicine and the technology that comes along with it. Going through these steps will also help you to mitigate any risks that could potentially arise for your business, and helps to get your team prepared!
IbisVision provides telemedicine to the optometry industry. With our technology, optometrists can carry out eye tests with their patients no matter where they are. Find out more by visiting us at www.ibis.vision
SBRI Healthcare announced today the nine winners of Competition 18, Stroke and Technology, including IbisVision. The pioneering MedTech innovators will share £800,000 in development funding for their solutions to help improve stroke pre-hospital diagnosis, rehabilitation and life after stroke.
The competition, developed in partnership with the Stroke Association, the AHSN Network and Accelerated Access Collaborative, focused on improving the quality of NHS services in the context of care provided to stroke patients, reducing the prevalence of independent lives lost to stroke by early identification of at-risk groups, and to ensure provision of support which will help patients manage their condition.
For a full list of the projects visit: https://sbrihealthcare.co.uk/news/sbri-healthcare-awards-800k-to-pioneering-innovations-in-the-stroke-and-technology-field/
IbisVision recently featured on The BBC, and we’re delighted to be able to share this and showcase where IbisVision has got to on our journey. We filmed this exclusive interview in the perfect setting of the Glasgow Science Centre. During the interview, our team spoke all about our tele-optometry solution. Our consultant optometrist also carried out remote vision test with innovation correspondent, Laura Goodwin all the way from Birmingham. This was a great opportunity to show our innovative platform and how it can be used in a telemedicine capacity.
If you’re interested in hearing more about IBIS-Connect, get in touch with us, here.
2021 saw a lot of talk about telemedicine and its potential uses. We got first looks at how it has been developed and the ways it’s being used in different sectors, with a big push for this technology in many healthcare settings.
The implementation of telemedicine solutions has varied, with some organisations simply exploring opportunities or testing the waters with small parts of their patient and/or consumer groups. Major progress that we’ve witnessed has come from these solutions allowing people to be seen remotely by clinicians throughout the pandemic. This was especially beneficial when strict social distancing guidelines were in place, and some still are. As we look forward, more advancements in telemedicine are coming and it’s going to go much further than video calls.
What does telemedicine look like this year?
2022 is going to see further developments and improvements in telemedicine solutions. As much as remote systems have helped connect clinicians and patients over the last few years, there’s a lot still to be done in connecting systems internally. Telemedicine providers will be looking to make their solutions more integrated with existing internal software such as patient management systems. This means that we are going to be seeing advances that are more than just 1:1 telehealth doctor-patient video conferencing. As well as integrating more effectively, we’ll also be seeing systems that can allow for group sessions and aids to diagnosis that can be utilised online.
“The technology is what will enable this industry to realize the full potential of virtual care beyond transactional, one-time interactions.” (healthcareitnews.com)
We need to see a more continuous use of telemedicine in settings to see how it can really transform an organisation but what we’ve witnessed so far is promising for the future. How it will be used in 2022 will change the way that businesses operate, and we will see a more hybrid approach to using telehealth and telemedicine solutions. This will involve still having face-to-face interactions with patients but also moving some services online which will allow for business transformations.
The digital world is continuously evolving, and new innovations are coming all the time. Current and new telemedicine providers are looking to continue with their solutions, and we’re looking forward to seeing developments in these innovations. 2021 was an innovative year and 2022 will see this momentum continue; if you are not already looking at telemedicine platforms, now is the time to see what’s out there!
Health kiosks are an amazing advancement in medical technology that’s helping to make healthcare more accessible. This IBIS-Focus article is going to look at what health kiosks are, why there’s such a drive for them in India, and what the outlook is for the future.
What is a health kiosk?
First, let’s look at health kiosks in general. A health kiosk is an electronic machine that helps the public access health screenings quickly and easily. Some are often used by hospitals and UK GP practices as simple check-in systems but there are others out there that are much more advanced and can give real-time diagnostics about an individual’s health such as weight and blood pressure. Each company developing kiosks have put their own spin on things, but in the end it’s all about making health screenings more accessible and a great experience for the user.
Locations of kiosks are also dependant on the business and their model. For example, our partner in India, Pulse Active Stations, locate their kiosks in high footfall areas such as metro stations so they can be easily accessed when people are out and about travelling to and from work. Another popular location is supermarkets, and businesses like Higi are doing this in the US. Additionally, we also have self-serve kiosks that act as check-in systems and are located in hospital and medical environments. It can definitely be agreed that kiosks are an emerging technology that have various features, functions and are also extremely flexible. This is why they are becoming more and more popular, especially as the world moves to a more technology focused way of interacting.
Health kiosks and their place in India
The pandemic has led to major shifts in the way that people access healthcare. One of the countries that has been at the forefront of embracing different telemedicine solutions, is India. In September, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that the Government of India’s national teleconsultation service, completed over 1.2 crore (12 million) OPD consultations (businessworld.in). This allowed the government to tackle doctor and specialist shortages, especially in remote locations. There has also been a massive uptake from clinicians adopting the use of technological solutions. Doctors who used technology before the pandemic sat at 5%, that figure is now 70-80% (theweek.in). This is an incredible jump, and it speaks to how much the healthcare industry has progressed. As the rise in the use of new technology has taken hold, new ways of screening for health conditions have also been thought about and introduced.
This is where health kiosks (also often described as medical kiosks) come in. Digitisation has helped processes in many ways and allows for the easing of pressure in hospitals and can reduce the number of patients needing to be seen. Having been implemented in public spaces and workplaces in India, kiosks are becoming one of the first points of contact for the general public looking for a health screening. This is vital in the early diagnosis of any health concerns and with most kiosks being interactive, they will analyse the information taken from the patient and will give suggestions for the daily care of the patient. This then allows the patient to make informed decisions about their health and can see a medical professional if they need to.
Kiosks are also an ideal way of offering a screening option to those in remote locations. And this is not just restricted to general medical care, they are also being used for other types of healthcare too. And this is what our partner, Pulse Active Stations, are using their kiosks for. These kiosks aid in early detection of conditions which are related to general health but with the help of IbisVision, this now also includes eye health. In India, 30 million people are blind due to cataracts and 1.2 million people have lost their vision from glaucoma-related complications. This is why kiosk solutions branching out into different aspects of health care is so important. Early detection in any health condition is key, and it’s vital that even in those in the most rural areas get access to this kind of support.
The outlook for the future
As we look to the future, the outlook for kiosks appears to be positive. They are being implemented well in the healthcare industry but that’s not the only place we see them. We now see them implemented in car parks, food outlets and retail stores so it seems that the uptake isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. And this is good for the healthcare industry as it gives plenty more options and flexibility as they decide how exactly to implement them into their organisations.
IbisVision has a keen interest in health kiosk technology, and our aim in helping to make eye care more accessible has become a reality in our partnership with Pulse Active Stations. To find out more about our work on health kiosks, read more here or feel free to get in touch with us here.
Telemedicine offers a whole new way of providing care in many healthcare industries. It’s already being used across multiple fields to provide virtual appointments to patients and better serve communities.
IbisVision has taken this one step further and developed a telemedicine solution for the optometry industry that allows for eye tests to be done virtually, saving any unnecessary trips to the optician if they’re not required. Our solution offers an alternative to in-person appointments that is more than just a virtual chat but provides a way for tests to be done remotely over an online connection. This type of technology is revolutionising the way that the optometry industry operates and is driving innovation within the sector.
Now that telemedicine is becoming more available, why should it be implemented by optometrists and other eye care professionals?
Firstly, it can make access to care easier for many individuals. Not everyone can go to the opticians easily and this can be for several reasons. Having a virtual option means that eye care can be easily accessed by those who live in remote locations, elderly people who are unable to travel, those with medical conditions or even those who have busy schedules. As well as making it more accessible, it also frees up the time for optometrists in the practice to take on more patients who require in-person appointments.
Telemedicine can also act as a no-contact testing solution. With the growth of telehealth throughout the pandemic some businesses are still using it as an option to keep themselves and their patients feeling safe and comfortable. Many individuals are still not fully open to face-to-face appointments, and telemedicine allows them to still have their eyes tested and any conditions detected.
Telemedicine solutions are not here to completely replace existing processes, the benefits of these systems are that they are mostly flexible and can be used a part of a hybrid solution. It’s up to the business and the optometrists to work out how they want it to fit in with how they already operate, and this is a real benefit for professionals. For example, IbisVision allows for the optometrist to see and speak to the patient before, during and after their eye test, keeping the connection going throughout the appointment.
New ways of working can benefit both professionals and patients and telehealth is definitely something that should be considered to improve processes. A hybrid model of practice can also be highly effective and no matter how you feel about telemedicine, it’s important to be aware of of the advancements it is bringing within the industry; it’s definitely not something to be ignored!
IbisVision provides innovative vision testing technology to the optical industry. Our telemedicine solution allows optometrists to test patients no matter where they are, and we also have other solutions on offer too. To find out more, get in touch here.
Technology companies across the world are stepping up and finding new and innovative ways to ensure that people have easier access to healthcare. The need to create this accessibility has come from a number of reasons. For example, Covid-19 restrictions have increased the need for social distancing, and telemedicine also allows providers to give those who live-in remote locations the opportunity to access the healthcare they need in a timely way as well as helping those who are vulnerable.
According to a Cisco global survey, 74% of patients prefer easy access to healthcare services over in-person interactions with providers. This means that even those who aren’t vulnerable are now pushing more for this type of care, and technology is becoming available in more and more health systems to allow this. Let’s take a look at what kind of solutions are out there:
Telemedicine is on the rise in many health systems. IbisVision has developed a remote solution for the optometry industry but there are many other healthcare professionals utilising this type of software too.
Remote appointments are being aided with solutions such as online platforms and smartphone applications. These options help to connect patients with healthcare providers without any wasted time or the additional costs of in-person visits to the patient or the organisation. Remote solutions are also here to help providers offer patient-centred approaches while improving the timeliness of appointments, something that is going a long way in improving the quality of care.
Health kiosks help to serve the general public and offer screening tools for individuals to check up on their health quickly without having to visit a doctor. These kiosks are often located in supermarkets or retail spaces and most recently, workplaces have started to place these in their office spaces too.
A visit to a clinician will only be recommended if the kiosk reports back results that require a physical check-up. This helps to save time for both the patient and healthcare professional as it cuts down time spent at the practice as well as having to make multiple visits. Health kiosks like those from Higi and Pulse Active Networks are focused on improving wellness of the public and are a non-invasive way of screening an individual’s health. Many of these kiosks are utilised across the world and can currently capture measurements such as an individuals’ weight, height, BMI, blood pressure and heart rate. However, this is an evolving concept and more healthcare providers are looking at utilising kiosks as a first point of care for their patients.
Technology is allowing us to provide healthcare to patients like never before. This is making healthcare easier to access for everyone and also makes it less intimidating for those who are vulnerable. While there have been limitations to telemedicine in the past, providers are now addressing these issues to allow different healthcare industries to thrive using new solutions.
To find out more about IbisVision and our telemedicine capabilities for the optical industry, get in touch with us, here.
Not everyone is able to visit their opticians to attend eye tests, and this can be caused by a number of reasons which include physical and mental disabilities. These individuals are also often those who need access to eye care the most and this is why portable vision testing technology is a great addition for optometrists who provide domiciliary care.
Technology, like IbisVision’s, helps to cut down the amount of equipment that optometrists need to take out to their patient’s homes. At the moment, optometrists often take a number of pieces of equipment with them and having technology available to them that holds a number of tests will make their jobs easier. It also makes the patient experience smoother in their homes and making the process as easy as possible is in the best interest of the patient and their wellbeing.
Innovative vision testing software supports the domiciliary journey for both the optometrist and the patient, and allows the optometrist to carry out tests efficiently in order to determine the patient’s needs for vision care. This makes it easier for them to provide continuity of care too. Talk to our team today about how we can support your business with portable vision testing technology. You can get in touch with us, here.
A wide adoption of digital tools is allowing the optometry industry to progress and better face the challenges that have presented themselves over the past year. Not only this, but technology is helping to improve patient care while reducing costs for the industry too.
In the past year, tele-health adoption has spiked at unprecedented rates across the world, with some providers reporting 175 times the number of consultations via tele-health compared to pre-pandemic visits in the US (medcitynews.com). This, however, did not mean that every organisation was prepared with the technology to offer or manage this uptake in virtual services. Initially, clinicians adopted solutions that were ready-made such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams but technology suppliers have stepped up and have been developing solutions that are tailored to specific industries and their offerings. From no-contact solutions to health kiosks, technology is playing a major part in allowing health and eye care professionals to navigate the effects of the pandemic.
How can technology benefit the optical industry now and in the future?
Technology is allowing us to provide solutions for current challenges that have come from Covid-19. However, we can use these technology solutions to improve the way in which we operate for the future and provide more essential services to patients.
The advantages of implementing technology are endless, but one of the shining benefits is that technology is encouraging people to look after their health and wellbeing no matter their circumstances. For example, health kiosks mean that people can self-serve which is allowing those who are still worried about visiting doctors or hospitals access to health screenings before it’s absolutely necessary for them to visit a practice in person. In the long term, these types of self-service kiosks will suit those with busy lifestyles and it’s also more convenient for many to assess themselves quickly before booking an appointment with a doctor or other health professional.
Remote technology is also beneficial for industry professionals as well as patients. Tele-optometry is helping to keep to social distancing guidelines for optometrists and patients and this is vital in allowing essential services and care to continue safely. It’s also going to be beneficial for the future too. This type of service will help to fit into people’s lives who are still working from home or have busy working schedules. It’ll also help to reach those who live in more remote locations and struggle to physically access these types of services on a regular basis. Technology is increasing access to vital services and development of software has been accelerated in the past year. This acceleration has allowed certain services to remain open for patients and will now be a key way in which health professionals and patients interact going forward.
IbisVision provides innovative software to the optical industry which includes tele-optometry features as well as a no-contact solution for in-practice. To find out more, get in touch with us, here.
This past year has brought many challenges for the optometry profession, and the industry has stepped up and faced these head on. From social distancing to working with suppliers that offer different ways of testing, optometrists are continuing to provide effective eye care to their patients.
Why is no-contact testing important?
The health and safety of those who have had to access vital services over the past year has been a top concern. Of those necessary services, eye care has been included and opticians have remained open for urgent, essential and routine eye care and tests.
Most optical practices have put social distancing measures in place in and others have even started looking at no-contact testing solutions. No contact solutions mean that optometrists can reduce the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus and keep patients as safe as possible while they are treating them.
No contact solutions will also pave the way for any future changes that may occur because of the pandemic. Every industry has had to adapt and many of the changes made will remain in place permanently, especially when it comes to close contact services.
Technology can change the way optometrists test patient
IbisVision, and other companies like us, are working to provide alternatives to physical testing. Technology can provide different ways of testing patients whether that be equipment that allows for no or limited contact, or remote testing. This type of technology also gives options to optometrists on how they wish to operate; they can choose to see patients in practice or remotely. It also helps to follow current legal guidance but will reduce risks that might be faced going forward out of the pandemic.
Here at IbisVision, we believe that optometry-led remote screening will reduce patient exposure to Covid-19 and support the industry with all the changes and challenges in the future. Our software enables the optometrist to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ driving positive change for the profession and we support all aspects of no-contact testing whether optometrists choose to do this in practice or remotely.
For more information and to see our software in action, contact us at email@example.com.
Covid 19 has accelerated tele-medicine in many fields, one of these being the optical industry. The pandemic essentially put a stop to eye care for a few months in 2020 before there was clear guidance on how optical outlets could reopen. This shone a light on what needs to progress in order to care for patients with eye conditions, whether they’re known or unknown. This priority is likely to continue long after lockdown restrictions ease.
Although tele-optometry is not a new concept, the drive for this to be introduced in the industry has increased exponentially given the events of the past year.
“Until the recent crisis, telemedicine has tended to be most useful in accessing remote or disparate populations who previously had little access to healthcare.” (opticianonline.net)
However, now tele-optometry is being looked at as a solution for all, and it’s a solution that will allow Optometrists to give continuity of care to their patients even if they have to socially distance or see them remotely.
There’s technology out there that’s working to make this a reality and some products are already in the market too. IbisVision allows for non-contact testing and will offer tele-optometry functions this year allowing the patient to complete exams at home with their optician online. Other health-tech organisations are developing apps that allow tests to be undertaken on a smartphone which can be used to order glasses.
All in all, some businesses are on track to offer technological solutions required by the optical industry and offer them what they need to navigate a Covid 19 and post-Covid 19 world.
Talk to us about our solution and how we can help with our non-contact eye examination solution. Contact us for more details, we’d love to hear from you.