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GrandVision strikes new partnership to pilot online vision testing

The world’s first CE-certified online eye test that allows customers to renew glasses and contact lens prescriptions online instead of in-store is being trialled in Finland and Poland.

Global optical retail group GrandVision, which operates in more than 40 countries with more than 7,000 brick-and-mortar stores, has partnered with online eye exam platform easee, giving its customers access to the technology.

Andreas Jacobsen.

The platform is being piloted with the GrandVision’s Finnish and Polish retailers, Instru Optiikka and Vision Express, respectively.

Announcing the partnership, Mr Andreas Jacobsen, GrandVision’s vice president of operations, said more customers are choosing to shop online.

“As the eyewear market is moving online, the need for adequate and fast online eye testing grows, especially considering COVID-19’s impact on retailers and the eyecare sector,” he said.

“Using easee’s platform, our customers in Finland and Poland can now choose to visit a store to receive validated renewal prescriptions, or simply take eye tests online.”

Developed with the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands and in line with the requirements of the European Commission, easee’s online refraction test is as accurate as an in-person eye exam, according to research published last year in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

In that study, which was led by Dr Robert Wisse from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, the results indicate the web-based eye test is a valid and safe method for measuring visual acuity and refractive error in healthy eyes, particularly for mild myopia.

The researchers also found the tool could be used for screening purposes.

“Using the prescription obtained with the web-based test significantly improves visual acuity to a degree similar to the prescription obtained using [gold standard] manifest refraction. Therefore, the web-based refraction test provides a user-friendly, easily accessible alternative to the traditional subjective manifest refraction test, although it should not be considered a replacement for a comprehensive eye examination,” the study noted.

Mr Yves Prevoo, easee CEO, said the company’s aim is to make clear vision accessible to everyone and the partnership with GrandVision “proves we are on the right path.”

The company is continuing to develop its software and is looking into applying the technology to other areas, providing the world with a comprehensive digital platform for online eye tests.

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