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When I was a kid...

Where will technology take optics?

22 Nov 2018 by Emily McCormick

In recent years I have begun to notice that I am sounding much more like my parents. Phrases will slip out and I later realise it was exactly the words that I used to cringe at when they were said to me by my parents.

‘When I was a kid…’ is a key and inescapable phrase that I’ve stopped trying to deny myself, as things really have changed (yes, my mum has a stubborn streak too). 

So, if you will indulge me for a moment...

When I was a kid, the iPad and iPhone did not exist; in fact, mobile phones only started entering the hands of the many when I was around 16. We used keys to operate cars and paper maps to navigate the roads. The words social media were not in use and we certainly did not have a platform for it – I could continue, but I won’t. (However, please feel free to share your ‘when I was a kid...’ moments with OT on our community forum).

The thing is, these ‘when I was a kid…’ moments are only going to become more frequent as both technology and mindsets evolves, and fast.

This week I had the opportunity to speak to chief technology officer at Opternative, Ayo Jimoh. Opternative is a US-based company offering the public access to eye care via an online vision test. While only operating in states where the law permits telemedicine of this sort, expansion into other English-speaking and European countries is on the company’s agenda.

Admitting that reaction to the technology by the US profession was mixed on launch, it has become “more positive,” Mr Jimoh said. “Our system does not work without eye doctors…every test is reviewed by a licenced eye doctor, so we need them and like working with them,” he highlighted.

Of course, Opternative is not the first company to offer vision tests outside of a clinic setting. Smart phone technology is being used to provide eye tests to people without access to eye care in other countries. And new technology is also being harnessed to enhance eye care, with drug dispensing contact lenses, for example, approaching the horizon.

With the population somewhat mesmerised by technology advancements, how do you see the provision of eye care developing in the future? 

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Image credit: Getty

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