OPSM has “reimagined the patient experience” with the introduction of remote consultations that will benefit communities currently under-serviced by optometry.
The move comes after a successful pilot program in 2023 and leverages the latest remote-optometry technology and practitioner patient communication tools developed by EssilorLuxottica.
In some locations, OPSM now has the capability to now provide comprehensive eye exams where the patient visits a conveniently located practice, accompanied step-by-step by a trained technician, while the optometrist works remotely.
“A comprehensive remote consultation with in-depth scans and analysis using the latest equipment can bring access to primary eyecare in communities which have been under-serviced by optometry, while helping qualified optometrists engage with patients remotely,” Ms Sephora Miao, senior manager of eyecare operations at EssilorLuxottica ANZ, said.
“It also provides the opportunity for optical dispensers in remote locations to further their skills, while allowing more flexible work arrangements for optometrists.”
After a successful pilot in OPSM South Hedland, Albany, and Kalgoorlie in 2023, the company is widening its remote optometry availability across additional locations planned for 2024.
“We are very satisfied with the initial results, where we saw strong favourable reception and adoption by optometrists and technicians and collected exceedingly positive feedback from patients. The technology has performed seamlessly, thanks to the revolutionary software that managed the consultation and through which all the clinical data was collected, transmitted, and stored,” Mr Carl James, senior vice president of store operations at EssilorLuxottica ANZ, said.
“The software also facilitated the video interaction between the patient and the optometrist, while providing interactive visualisations of eye conditions.”
How it works
Following the collection of the patients informed consent to remote consultation*, the technician performs pre-test procedures and provides the data to the optometrist for review prior to the consultation. This includes a comprehensive measurement using the Wave Analyser Medica 800 (WAM800), encompassing autorefraction to 0.01D, low and high order aberration assessment, topography, pupillometry, retro-illumination of the crystalline lens, pachymetry, and tonometry.
The technician proceeds to conduct an ultra-wide digital retinal scan capturing a 200-degree view of the retina, as well as OCT using REVO FC with the capability to perform axial length biometry.
According to EssilorLuxottica, the technician plays a pivotal role in the patient journey, and accompanies them to the consultation, where a connection allows the optometrist to remotely control and perform the eye examination. The Essilor VR800 refines refraction to 0.01D, with the optometrist remotely operating the phoropter and chart, with the option to choose from the patients’ existing prescription or autorefraction as a starting point.
A slit lamp examination is also performed utilising the Essilor SL650. During the diagnosis and management discussion the optometrist can present scans and results on screen, demonstrate any changes to prescription at the touch of a button and present visualisations of common eye disorders. This is powered by a software platform that enables a high quality, uncompromised, digital connected, end-to-end patient experience at the most convenient time and location, a statement said.
If a referral is required, it can be done securely using the Oculo platform. Comprehensive triaging occurs to ensure any ocular emergencies are referred appropriately prior to consultation.
*OPSM conducts the consultation without Medicare rebate