Could we teach Ed Sheeran how to perform? Or Cristiano Ronaldo how to kick a ball? Probably not! But it does seem that in the US, the land of Silicon Valley, Apple and world-beating innovation, we’re showing them a thing or two about ophthalmic technology.
Our recent trip to the US was an amazing success. Our travels took us first to Miami and then onto New York where we made important connections and had conversations with big players in the optometry market in both states.
Throughout the visit Compiler VC, an investor in our business, led the way, introducing us to other investment companies as well as some key optical organisations. This allowed us the opportunity to discuss and gauge the response from the US market first hand. And, we were happy to have IbisVision’s technology and mission validated by those who would be looking to utilise our platform or even invest in its future. From our conversations we found that now is the perfect time for IbisVision to enter the US market with a tele-optometry solution that will transform the way eye care is provided.
IbisVision’s technology is ahead of the curve, and we know that we are primed and ready to disrupt the market. We spoke to several optical leaders, and they have confirmed and also welcomed further innovation in the market. In particular, our forthcoming introduction of remote refraction will be a game changer, allowing for an even broader range of optical tasks to be undertaken remotely.
There are also other organisations innovating in the optometry space and we were lucky enough to meet some of them at Vision Expo in New York. We saw the likes of Grand Vision who were recently acquired by EssilorLuxottica and are now “exploring new paths around digitization and innovation.” We also discussed the future of telemedicine and saw some of the team at Topcon Healthcare who are doing some amazing things in telehealth. Their telehealth solution ‘Harmony’ creates connectivity ensuring that eye care professionals can use their current software while adopting the latest technologies; a vital piece of the puzzle when introducing telemedicine solutions!
It’s safe to say we met and spoke to some big innovators in the industry. Keep an eye out on what’s next for IbisVision – we gained some exciting ideas from our time in the US as well as validating our current plan to revolutionise the optical sector; we’ll have more updates on this over the coming months! For now, we’re delighted to be offering our tele-optometry solution to the market and are looking forward to seeing IBIS-Connect in action in more and more optometry settings.
Why not take a look for yourself? Find out more about IBIS-Connect, here.
For a company like IbisVision, where our product is developed with the input and intelligence of partners and the market, meeting up with the companies who’ll use our platform is one of the most important tasks we can do. This is really vital in the US, which has the most cutting-edge health sector in the world, but also differs somewhat from the public model found across Europe, so we’re learning all the time.
The highlight in this case was making an appearance at the weekend at Vision Expo in New York where some of the biggest names in optometry were in attendance. We showcased our tele-optometry solution IBIS-Connect to numerous professionals and stopped by for a visit to the likes of Essilor and Clear Vision to speak further about what we’re doing for the market. The connections we’re making and conversations we’re having will definitely change the future of IbisVision.
From the past few days, we’ve been lucky enough to have gained some amazing feedback and observations. IbisVision is definitely at the forefront of the telemedicine evolution in optometry and over the next few days we’ve got some more exciting things coming up. We have important connections to be made in New York and we’ll be meeting with venture capitalists and remote healthcare networks to talk more about IBIS-Connect.
Our usual gripe though – our team hasn’t had much time to stop off at any of the iconic tourist attractions so we’ve added the Empire State building and Statue of Liberty to Disneyland on our “missed” list! But you never know…we might indulge ourselves just once before we fly home!
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/
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.