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When I first qualified...

As technology progresses, what tools will stand the test of time?

21 Feb 2019 by Emily McCormick

As a child, as a teen and even as a young adult, a prominent memory is one of my elders and their frequent use of the phase ‘when I was a child…’ In fact, it is still flung into conversations during my visits home.

It is funny because as I have grown older, progressed through education and working life, witnessing changing attitudes and advancements to technology, I have heard these words come out of my own mouth too.

Of course, each sector will have its own milestone moments. For mobile phone technology, these defining moments will no doubt be the birth of internet access on the go, as well as messaging tools such as WhatsApp, while journalism has gone from typewriters to 24-hour news via social media platforms such as Twitter.

For optometry, the evolution of new technology has been vast, and for those who first qualified a decade or two ago, tools such as optical coherence tomography, retinal photography and the auto-refractor would have either been in their infancy for not developed yet – they certainly wouldn’t have been sat in the testing room.

In my experiences, what I have learned is that just because something new, shiny and, perhaps, time-saving comes along, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the original tool is not relevant – in some cases it can even remain superior when used for the right job.

For this reason, I highlight a piece recently written by Dr Peter Frampton on why the “humble” retinoscope is a tool that he cannot live without in practice and how retinoscopy is still a vital clinical skill for optometrists to master.  

If you would like to share with us what tool you could not live without in practice and why, please get in touch by email. emilymccormick@optometry.co.uk

On a related note, OT’s March edition, which will land through letterboxes on 2 March, is dedicated to the theme of OCT. We have already begun sharing the content on our website, so for those who can’t wait for the postman, click here.  

Image credit: Pixabay

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