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Eye examinations available online

Digital Optometry today announced the launch of its new global website, which offers eye examination software Spectrum Eyecare, making superior vision examinations available to all.
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The new web platform, which includes a comprehensive array of digital eye examination software solutions and various additional specialised tests and tutorial, is offering its new 'HESS test' available as a free download to all eye care practitioners globally.

"The test, one of many ground-breaking eye tests developed by the team, allows accurate measurement of extra ocular muscle function in the nine positions of gaze, and results can be indicative of early pathological findings. In the test results, potential deviations are calibrated to viewing distance in prism dioptres which can then be easily assessed," said head optometrist and co-founder Graham Chrich.

Accessible screening for all

Access to vision care affects a large majority of South Africans and other third world countries. It is estimated that 97% of all visually impaired South Africans are unemployed, 80% of South Africa's blind population live in rural areas and 75% of blindness is avoidable, either preventable or treatable.

The test rollout has the ability to provide accessible screening for all, which is good news for the many disadvantaged communities who are in desperate need of suitable standards of vision care. The eye examination tests, when used on a laptop out in the field, are completely portable and eliminates the need to carry and transport an array of charts and cumbersome expensive equipment.

Furthermore, the system offers innovative features, personalisation and an interactive experience for both the eye care practitioner and patient. Features include:
  • Integrated language command functionality (up to eight different languages are featured including English, Xhosa, French, Mandarin)
  • Personalisation of test sequences to suit practitioner requirements, such as children
  • Integrated pictures and symbols particularly suited to testing illiterate patients or children
  • Patient information centre that allows the practitioner to simply 'click to' illustrations and visual explanations of diagnosed conditions and educate the patient whilst in consultation
All the diagnostic tests calibrate automatically based on the viewing distance and include many optotypes with unlimited chart variations. Developers have worked hard to include innovative tests such as Contrast Sensitivity, Foveal Grid, Aniseikonia, Stereo Acuity, Log MAR, Duo Chrome Rings, Fan and Block, Fixation Disparity, Colour Vision and others.

Features particularly relevant to private practice are, Clarity, enabling the practitioner to display lens enhancements visually whilst in the consultation room, eg anti-reflective coating or multi-focal options. Online lab integration allows the practitioner to digitally input the prescription and send to the lab seamlessly. Once patients leave the consultation room, the practitioner is able to activate Eyemail, an automated but personal communication, giving details of their eye test, diagnosis and suggested vision care plan, thereby building loyalty and establishing the patient-practitioner relationship.

University acceptance

Lecturers at the University of Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State are already using the software to teach the optometrists of the future. The testing system is currently used by top optometrists across the country and interfaces with over 100 000 patients a month. The South African Optometric Association and other field workers through the company's social responsibility programme extensively use the programme.

"We are passionate about making our superior eye testing experience available to all," said Russell Meyer, co-founder and optometrist. "The test is portable and simple to use. With the use of pictures and language commands we can make it easier for everyone and increase the quality of vision care. Our aim is ultimately to replace outdated systems whilst maintaining affordability and increasing patient care."

To download the free HESS test, go to www.spectrumeyecaresoftware.com/downloads.
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