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Research for the profession

Assessing the impact of technology on the optical sector

A new report, researched and produced by 2020Health, has been published to assess the potential impact of technology on the UK optical sector in the future.

Commissioned by the Optical Confederation (OC), and the College of Optometrists, and funded by OC organisations, the College and the Central Optical Fund, the Foresight Project Report aims to better equip the optical sector in light of advancing technology, ocular medical developments and shifts in the demographic landscape.

Chairman of the Foresight Project, Alan Tinger, explained in his launch address, “The roles for practitioners in the future will not be the same as today. That goes to the heart of the Foresight Project, which is to inform the debate on what optical education should be about going forward.”

Our Council has used the findings of the report to prompt a debate on the future of the profession, held on our website forums. The AOP, alongside other organisations, will now begin discussions on the back of the project, starting in our upcoming Policy Committee meeting.

Building on this, we will be providing information and advice to members to help them prepare for change, as well as defending the profession from developments that are not in the best interests of patients and professionals.

In addition, findings from the report will be used to contribute to advice for members at all points in their career - from planning their continuing education, to making business decisions and deciding on their next career moves.