IbisVision, the Glasgow-based company that’s leading the move to remote and over-the-Internet eyecare, has unveiled breakthrough technology, the first of its kind, that allows for optometrists to determine a prescription over the Internet, with hardware that’s a fraction of the cost of traditional eyecare systems.
The company, backed by a consortium led by Miami-based Compiler VC in a recent $5.6 million funding round, will launch its updated Ibis-Connect platform at the Vision Expo West conference in Las Vegas later this month. It is envisaged that many of the larger US optical players, as well as regional operators and independent optical businesses, will be interested in what is the first truly objective over-the-Internet technology from which to prescribe corrective lenses. Not only does the system just require a simple internet connection, the patient uses a proprietary Remote Refraction Tool (RRT) that costs a few cents to produce, compared to the traditional machines that can cost thousands of dollars for opticians to acquire.
The system aligns with IbisVision’s philosophy of delivering eyecare and treatment over the Internet, while maintaining clinical excellence and the full involvement of eyecare professionals. The platform, which is currently undergoing rigorous clinical trials, can work through the most basic of computers and Internet connections and uses a simple and intuitive interface to ensure high quality reliable readings from the patient, all overseen by eyecare professionals based wherever the optometry business chooses. The technology builds on IbisVision’s existing eye-health Internet platform, whose capabilities have expanded from a single test to now offering 11 different eye exams, and bases its accuracy on being able to continually measure the patient’s distance from the camera on their computer.
Ultimately, the technology allows for a full end-to-end remote experience for patients who may be too busy or find it difficult to attend a clinic in person. The issuing of prescriptions can be combined with existing technology that allows patients to try various glasses virtually to find the best fit, look and style.
The company is ready to engage with clients – it’s FDA listed, CE marked and HIPAA compliant – and has appointed a new Miami-based Head of US Operations to oversee its business throughout the US.
Commenting on the launch, IbisVision CEO Mark Roger said “This is the breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for – allowing an optometrist to test for and issue a prescription online. This opens up huge potential not only in making eyecare available to all, but in turbocharging e-commerce behind the optometry industry, and allowing for optometrists to serve communities without investing vast amounts in cumbersome machinery. We’re delighted to be launching this at the world’s biggest optometry Expo where we expect to receive strong support and interest.”
Find the IbisVision team at Vision Expo West from 28-30 September at Booth #PAN2051. Book an appointment to speak with our CEO, Head of Partnerships or Head of US Operations at the show, here.
IbisVision’s patent pending technology is based on similar principles to an autorefractor and seeks to find the refractive error using superimposing images projected onto the patients retina and monitoring the distance from the screen at which the images converge into one. The procedure is carried out on two further axes and an algorithm is used to model the curvature of the eye and thus predict the refractive error, objectively identify any astigmatism, and output a corrective prescription in a conventional sphere/cylinder/axis format.
IbisVision’s purpose is to offer innovative eye technology that revolutionizes the customer journey, increases efficiency, and makes eye care more widely accessible. Providing multiple tests on a single cloud-based platform gives universal accessibility with a software as a service (SaaS) delivery model dramatically reducing capital expenditure. The IbisVision platform allows optical professionals to remotely examine eyes using a 11 tests including 24–2, Amsler Grid, Color Vision, Visual Acuity, Visual Field and now a Refraction test. This allows for clinicians to interact with and support their patients while they assess vision remotely as well as detecting conditions such as glaucoma, a serious ailment that can cause the loss of sight, all without any need for direct contact between the medical professional and patient. IbisVision is backed by leading investors including Compiler VC, Deepbridge and Scottish Growth Investments. More information is available at www.ibis.vision
Interviews can be arranged by appointment
For more information:
Laura Hillhouse, marketing manager: 07414 558 542 email@example.com
David Clarke, press contact: 07887 600 234 firstname.lastname@example.org
The hustle and bustle of New York was the perfect place to host Vision Expo East. The liveliness of the streets matched the energy inside the Javits Centre over Expo weekend where professionals came together to see what’s new and upcoming for the eye care sector.
IbisVision was there to showcase our platform, IBIS-Connect, a solution that allows optometrists to test patients anywhere, at any time. We also got the chance to see what else is going on in the market and speak with other companies in our space. This allowed us to further our understanding of the industry and where it’s going, resulting in a more detailed outlook for the future. There were many positive takeaways for us, and the show gave us a whole host of new companies looking at our solution. We’re delighted our platform attracted so much attention and we were happy to hear from many attendees that IBIS-Connect is leading the way in remote vision testing.
As we discovered at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, and now again at Vision Expo East, there remains a struggle with the availability of eye doctors across the country. This is something IbisVision is exploring in greater detail to support the market further. We also noticed more discussions around the need to have a flexible solution that can work in whatever way an organisation requires. For example, a solution where the patient can be in practice, but the eye doctor is elsewhere or vice versa. This is the type of flexibility that IbisVision can offer as the optometrist and patient can be wherever is suitable for them; we were happy to demonstrate this to those who visited us at our booth and show our remote testing capabilities.
Our team were lucky enough to speak to companies who are looking to implement telemedicine solutions in the US and further afield such as Canada and Latin America. What was obvious was the appetite for telemedicine is beginning to grow more in optometry than ever before and the market knowledge of it is increasing.
We have some great conversations to continue as well as pick up with some of the amazing eye care professionals and suppliers we met with at the show. Vision Expo East was a great place to discuss our platform, future collaborations and where we go next in the sector. A huge thank you to everyone who came to visit us at our booth. We were once again in The Panorama neighbourhood which was a hub of the latest technologies and innovations, the perfect place for our flourishing technology.
Find out more about IBIS-Connect, here.
The IbisVision team is heading to the city that never sleeps to take on the busy streets, big energy and best of all, the US eye care sector. Vision Expo East is taking place from the 16-19 March and is the complete event for ophthalmic professionals. With a first-class venue in the Javits Center, we’re looking forward to once again experiencing the hustle and bustle of a vibrant event.
As a gathering of eye care professionals, buyers, influencers and technology, Vision Expo in New York really is the place to be this March for the optical sector. You’ll find us situated in The Panorama, a neighbourhood that showcases the technologies and innovations disrupting the eye care space. As we’ve said before, nothing compares to the US when it comes to the size of the market and being in the middle of some of the biggest names in optometry is exceptional for a technology company like ours.
As we look to roll out our remote eye testing technology in the US, we will seek to tap into the expertise of the world’s largest eye care market and forge key relationships with providers, technology suppliers and eye care organisations. IbisVision dipped its toes into US optical events last September at Vision Expo West where we had a very successful few days creating key relationships and gaining insights on the US industry that we have been utilising ever since. This combined with our progress in the UK market over the past couple of months, is making IbisVision a force to be reckoned with in the eye care sector.
We can’t wait to show our latest developments at Expo East and to continue to build on our growing and flourishing reputation in the market. Visit us at booth #PAN2240 and see our Tele-Optometry platform in action. You can also book a one-to-one demo session with our team, here.
For any business with any nous there are two main benefits to attending an exposition such as the amazing Las Vegas Vision Expo West, which we visited in September. There are some businesses that go with the sole aim of talking about their product, of selling, and focusing on their display. We like to think that we go one step further than that, and we give equal, if not more attention, to what else is going on and what others are doing, as well as making connections related to our own products. This results in a deeper understanding of our potential clients and the markets in which we operate.
As we have already stated, the US is a significant market for us, firstly because it so large, and secondly because it tends to be a leader in medical processes and technology. The positive take away for us from the Expo is that we feel we now have a much greater understanding of the needs of US optometrists, the broader eyecare sector and the patients that are served in this industry and profession. We are delighted that our technology attracted so much attention – we consider ourselves to be world leading in the way we open up remote eyecare over standard devices and Internet connections.
However, the US market does throw up some challenges in this area. It’s all very well allowing for a remote examination to take place, but our product is not specifically AI-led, but instead is a tool to support examinations by professionals. From our conversations, it seems to be the case that getting the professional staff in the US to be able to oversee eye examinations can be a challenge.
The evidence would seem to back this up – according to the 2021 Optometry Healthcare Business Insights report 60% of US optometry offices do not have enough staff to meet their needs. At first glance much of this might be to do with regulation – only four out of 50 states (Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma) allow optometrists to perform the full range of procedures outlined in their education. Then there is the issue of supply within the profession, and in a vast country such as the US, it surprising that only 23 American educational institutions offer Doctor of Optometry degrees (it has occurred to us that our remote technology could be useful in an educational environment).
What does this mean for a company like ours? In the UK where there has not been significant talk about the shortage of optometry professionals, and the regulatory environment is different, our remote technology seamlessly opens up possibilities for optometry practices to reach a wider spectrum of society with greater ease. In the US there is another key part of the jigsaw where we want to contribute: that being, helping optometry practices access the professionals that can oversee the tests that our technology allows for. Some of the suggestions that came our way centred around how we might work with the industry to provide panels of medical professionals qualified and able to work from our platforms. From our perspective, and as a company that has consistently worked in partnership from the outset, we find this an interesting suggestion. We hope that the many companies and individuals that we met in our time in Las Vegas can ponder now how we might move forward on this, as this is obviously a key area for partnership and cooperation. We look forward to ongoing discussions in this area.
We were delighted to meet with many representatives from the Canadian industry – this great nation sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves being so closely situated beside the world’s largest economy (we get it, as a Scottish-based company next to England which has 10 times the population!). But we are absolutely emphatic that Canada, as a G-7 nation with a highly developed and well-funded medical sector, is a key target for a company like ourselves.
An obvious starting point for us as a provider of remote eyecare technology is how this can help in a country that’s the second largest by landmass in the world. Our business is about much more than just reaching people who are out of the way (we have a multifaceted approach to driving efficiencies in the eye-care sector) but a key statistic that whets our appetite is that population density in Canada is about four people per square kilometre compared with 281 in the United Kingdom! We believe our remote technology can bring huge efficiencies to bustling and busy cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, where crossing a metropolis can take several hours out of a day for a patient. With about 5,500 optometrists and a sector worth US$1.8 billion, we are again looking to develop partnerships to help us expand in this very important market.
Obviously people and companies make an event such as Vision Expo. We were very lucky to be situated in the Panorama, where the latest innovations in eyecare were displayed. We were delighted to be situated next to Dusk, the developers of an app that enables electro-chromatic smart sunglasses and CREAL, which uses light field technology to aid with refraction measurements.
We were particularly delighted to have had conversations with major companies including Warby Parker, Alcon, New Look Division Group and Specsavers. In total, we reckon our conversations could give us access to more than 2,000 locations across the US – about 5% of total US primary vision practices we reckon. All in all, a good week, and we came back with our wallets relatively intact even in the face of such alluring gambling attractions.
Okay, we know that any blog about going to Las Vegas is going to ride on the back of popular memes about this well-known gambling mecca in the middle of Nevada, but if there’s one place where you want good eyesight it’s got to be this city (c’mon, we’re an eyecare tech company so we had to slip that in as well!)
Firstly, at night the place is a visual cornucopia, and mass of flashing lights that want to entice you into this and that emporium, restaurant or bar. We’re looking forward to wandering aimlessly down the strip and also dropping into some of the best-known hotels: Caesar’s Palace, the Luxor, the Venetian, the Bellagio.
Of course some of these hotels are also host to some of the world’s best known casinos. But let’s face it, we’re a careful canny Scottish company so probably no huge outlay of our personal funds here, but we’re quite happy to watch the spectacle of amateur and professional gamblers blowing money here, there and everywhere.
And let’s not forget that within travelling distance are amazing natural sights including the Grand Canyon. From the money we don’t spend in the casino we might put towards a trip there.
And finally we want to see some sun! Las Vegas has about 28 sunny or partly sunny days on average in September. We’re coming from Glasgow, where it rains on average 14 days in the month. Ugh!
Sunglasses on, eyes wide open, the bright lights a’ beckon, here we go!
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 email@example.com
David Clarke, press contact: +44 (0) 7887 600 234 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com to arrange a meeting with one of our team.