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2020/NOW and Visionix USA debut new tele-optometry program

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5 min read

Four months after announcing a strategic alliance, Visionix USA and 20/20NOW introduced a new tele-optometry program at Vision Expo East this weekend.

Give me a rundown on these companies.

Launched in 2014, 20/20NOW is a tele-optometry company that uses advanced technology, proprietary software, and patient exam processes to deliver comprehensive eye exams for patients in both healthcare professional (HCP) and optical retail locations across 30+ states in the U.S.

Visionix USA is a Lombard, Illinois-based medical equipment manufacturer of core refractive, screening, and imaging technologies for eyecare professionals (ECPs).

  • Notable among its products is the Optovue line of optical coherence tomography (OCTs).

Now this alliance.

Launched in November 2023, the collaboration includes Visionix integrating its “state-of-the-art diagnostic ophthalmic devices” with 20/20NOW’s tele-optometry platform.

The intended goal: to significantly reduce the duration of 20/20NOW’s tele-optometry exams.

Talk about the technology involved.

Among Visionix’s wide array of diagnostic technologies is the VX 650:

  • Multi-testing platform that performs automated pretesting in just one device:
    • Auto-refraction
    • Non-contact tonometry
    • Corneal topography
    • Pachymetry
    • Anterior and posterior segment imaging

Other integrated devices include:

So what does the tele-health process entail?

Per 20/20NOW, an ocular exam is designed to be performed in 30 minutes or less and consists of the following:

  1. Patient medical history
    Electronic questionnaire used to establish the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR)
  2. Visual pre-testing
    Conducted by an on-site optical assistant who records a baseline reading of the patient’s prescription via an autorefractor and autokeratometer (or auto-lensometer for glasses wearers)
  3. Visual acuity (VA) testing
    Performed in real-time via high-definition (HD) video conducted by a remote doctor or technician
  4. Eye health exam
    Series of tests performed by on-site optical technician to evaluate for various eye conditions (see here for specific testing)
  5. Live clinical review by licensed optometrist
    All patient data/test results transferred to remote ECP, who reviews in real-time via video conferencing and finalizes the patient’s prescription
  6. EMR
    All patient data and images gathered during exam is captured and available for an ECP to access and monitor any health changes over time
  7. Prescription and referral
    ECP electronically sends a patient's prescription to their on-site location to be printed within minutes of the exam's conclusion; patients are then able to purchase glasses or contacts while on-site or be referred for follow-up care

How can ECPs benefit from this?

In quite a few ways, according to Noelle Tchang, OD, director of professional services at 20/20NOW, in a recent article.

  • Potential for increased optical sales in clinical practices
  • Reduce backlog for multi-location practice with limited coverage, enabling more revenue flow
  • Virtual referrals free up an on-site ECP from routine refraction to focus on higher-income-producing activities

Go on …

Per Dr. Tchang, if an ECP wants to cut down on clinical data but still provide remote services to interested patients, using 20/20NOW’s platform and Visionix’s medical equipment can help them do that.

“This alternate business model is another great option and opportunity if the doctor wants to rethink the refraction process,” Dr. Tchang stated. “If they can consider utilizing Visionix equipment and the 20/20Now platform with our remote team of Certified and experienced ophthalmic technicians to delegate refraction.”

So where can I see a demonstration of this?

20/20NOW and Visionix are on-site at Vision Expo East this weekend, where the two companies are providing live tele-optometry demonstrations using on-site and remote team members (and Visionix’s medical devices). Stop by stand #F2235 in the Exhibit Hall.

See here for more Vision Expo East coverage.

Vision Expo East is being held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, New York, from March 14-17, 2024.