All You Need To Know

What Tele-Optometry and Ocular Teleheath Exams Really Mean

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The Tele-Optometry Difference

When it comes to Tele-Optometry or Ocular Telehealth, that term means a lot of different things to different people. You may even see it spelled differently like teleoptometry or tele optometry! To be clear, what 20/20NOW offers is a full comprehensive Tele-optometry exam that is performed in an office setting. Our customers are both optical retailers and optometry practices. The optical retailers typically have limited optometry coverage 1 or 2 days per week. Optometry practices that utilize our Tele-Optometry service typically have locations where they have limited coverage only a couple days per week.

The patient has all their usual pre-testing performed by an onsite technician that we call a patient facilitator. A certified ophthalmic technician performs the digital refraction remotely, controlling the digital phoropter with our patented software. The doctor comes on screen live at the end of the Tele-Optometry exam for a remote clinical review.

Types of Tele-Optometry Testing

For some the term Tele-Optometry may mean an online refraction only. That type of Tele-Optometry testing is frowned upon by many doctors. During the COVID pandemic a form of at home virtual exams became very popular and is what most eye doctors think of when they think of Tele-Optometry. Patients could connect with their optometrists over a video chat to discuss acute conditions like red eyes or prescription refills

Others may use the term Tele-Optometry to describe the use of an auto-refractor to get the prescription and have a doctor sign off later. This form of Tele-Optometry is also highly frowned up by many doctors as it does not evaluate any eye health. Other forms of Tele-Optometry may include more complete testing but still not have a live doctor consultation and rather have them sign off after the fact. This is called asynchronous tele-optometry as it does not involve a live doctor interaction.

Full comprehensive Tele-Optometry exams by 20/20NOW meet the standard of care of an in office visit and are a form of synchronous tele-optometry because there is a live doctor interaction and the Tele-Optometry exam happens in real time . The patient is in the office and receives a pressure check with a non contact tonometer. Objective testing is performed using an autorefractor and autokeratometer to provide a baseline reading of the patient’s prescription. If the patient wears glasses, the prescription is read using an auto-lensometer.

In a comprehensive Tele-Optometry exam eye health tests are performed using a fundus camera for retinal photos to assess diseases like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and diseases of the optic nerve like glaucoma. Visual field assessments are performed to detect any visual field loss due to various conditions. Depending on the office even more sophisticated tests may be used like an OCT, wavefront anterior segment images for angles, topography and pupillometry. Tele-Optometry exams performed using this level of technology are among the most comprehensive exams being performed regardless of whether or not a doctor is on site.

Digital slit lamp photos and videos are taken to assess the cornea, lids, angles and lens for cataracts. Other testing performed by the onsite technician includes.

  • Ocular Alignment and Motility
  • Pupil Function
  • Color Vision

Live Tele-Optometry

A remote certified ophthalmic technician then comes on the screen via HD tele-conferencing. They control a digital phoropter remotely. All of the remote technicians at 20/20NOW are JCAHPO certified COTs or COMTs. They have on average 10 years of experience of in office refraction typically in very high volume ophthalmology centers like teaching institutions at medical universities. Their experience in combination with our patented refraction software results in a very low redo rate which is 1.5% for the past 12 months. Our Tele-Optometry prescriptions have a lower redo rate that is about 3 times lower than the national average of in office exams

After the refraction is completed an optometrist comes on screen and can evaluate all of the diagnostic information that has been collected during the exam. They can share the images of the photos and other diagnostic tests that have been performed and discuss any eye health issues with the patient. They then answer any questions the patient may have and finalize the prescription so the patient can get their new glasses or contacts the same day in the optical. That is the power of comprehensive Tele-Optometry exams by 20/20NOW to provide care and access to people in underserved areas all around the country

Digital Phoropter for Tele-Optometry subjective refraction eye exam

Digital Refraction by Remote Technician

Tele-optometry eye exam doctor consult

Live Doctor Consultation

The Tele-Optometry Difference Powered by 20/20NOW

20/20NOW is the founder and leader of Tele-Optometry. Over seven years ago the founders created the software and systems to provide in office Tele-Optometry exams. 20/20NOW employs a team in house of U.S. based software engineers that are constantly expanding our capabilities. We are integrated with 18 equipment manufacturers so we can utilize a vast majority of the equipment in the ophthalmic segment. If any problems arise with compatibility due to software changes from manufactures we can rapidly re-write the code because we created it. No other Tele-optometry provider can say the same thing.

All of our remote technicians and doctors are employees of our organization. We do not outsource any of our professional services. We have full time and part time clinicians dedicated to providing the highest level of care for our comprehensive Tele-Optometry services.

When choosing a Tele-Optometry provider it is important to be sure to choose a provider that has the financial backing to employ a large network of provides and support staff to keep your operation running smoothly. Service disruptions and availability of providers is the number one issue customers face when they call us to switch to our service. While it may be possible to find someone who is willing to provide tele-optometry services for less, you often get what you pay for and that results in your patients waiting for long periods of time and backing up your schedule. Tele-optometry exams by 20/20NOW can be completed in 30 minutes or less after we train your onsite technicians.

Learn More

To learn more about our Tele-Optometry exams please visit our Home Page. You can see how the exam process works on our How It Works Page and watch videos on our exam process, testimonials, and even a full webinar on our Video Page. We have full disclosure of our pricing on our Pricing page and you can learn more about our team and the states we currently operate in on our About Us Page

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