Eye exams online, can it work?

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These days just about everything can be done online.  A Chicago tech start-up is adding a new concept to the list and it’s linked to your health.

Eye exams online, can it work?  Dr. Steven Lee came up with a concept that would allow you to have an online eye exam to generate a prescription for eyeglasses.  He partnered with Aaron Dallek to create Opternative.   The project is expected to launch in late summer.

The online eye exam would take about ten minutes and cost an estimated $35.

Critics worry that it will give patients a false sense of security.

Dr. Pamela Lowe says, “diabetes is one of the things we can pick up in a comprehensive eye exam when patients don’t even know they have it.”

Opternative leaders claim the online eye exam will not replace testing for eye health.  It would simply provide a prescription.  Dallek says, “I think the biggest misconception is that we don’t care about the healthy eye and that we’re going to let people go without seeing their health professional for 10 years at a time.”

An off-site ophthalmologist would sign off on your prescription after reviewing the online results.  A

s far as prescription accuracy, Opternative would not release official results as they wait for independent studies.  They say results have been “very close” to the traditional refractions which is what’s used to write a prescription.  They plan to comply with FDA regulations.


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