Much has been written about Opternative, and I will not rehash what the product is and what it purports to do. I will say the product presents a clear and present danger to the eye health of the unsuspecting public. We can argue the merits of disruptive technology, but the bottom line is the product as currently marketed as an “eye exam” is a public health threat.
Executives from online refraction companies discussed their services during Vision Expo East. Opternative CEO Aaron Dallek; EyeNetra CTO Vitor Pamplona, PhD; and myVisionPOD Founder Hal Wilson shared information about their companies and answered questions from the audience about the future of online refraction.
There is no question that our profession is undergoing rapid change as well as significant challenges. As a profession, we are faced with the dual responsibility of protecting our patient and maintaining our proficiency. Both of these also fall under the legal jurisdiction of the State Board of Optometry in the states in which we are licensed. Some state boards have already acted, but most have not. One that has not is California.
I recently completed Robin Cook’s new medical thriller, Cell. Cook, best known for his books Coma and Outbreak, is an ophthalmologist by training, and his books often tie his story lines to current events. Not to spoil the book for those who want to read the novel, but the premise of Cell is that a phone app, named iDoc, has been designed to replace the primary-care physician.
To protect consumers’ eye and vision health, the American Optometric Association is warning the public about the false claims that they provide an online “eye exam,” stating that these claims are confusing and misleading.