I could not live without…

“We need to bring eye care into the 21st century”

Four optometrists tell OT  about the products and systems that have enabled them to adapt to an unprecedented situation

Nikki Sharma

I couldn’t live without… a COVID-19 triaging system

Nikki Sharma, Cambridge

“We have introduced a colour-coded triaging system to help us identify patients who require urgent/essential eye care and those who need remote care consultations. Once an appointment is booked, my colleagues contact the patient to ask the relevant COVID-19 questions and triage them. The colour of the slot in the diary is altered from green (pre-triaged) to blue (triaged), making it easier to identify patients who need to be contacted. When the patient attends their appointment, they are asked the COVID-19 questions again. The triage form is handed to me prior to the appointment. This is useful as I can highlight the patients who need extra care. The initial triage form was filled with numerous questions and required an extensive phone conversation, however after some rejigging we have been able to create a form which is still thorough, but more concise and less time consuming. Working together on all of the new processes, including the triaging system, we’ve shown what we are capable of.”

We have introduced a colour-coded triaging system to help us identify patients who require urgent/essential eye care and those who need remote care consultations

Nikki Sharma

I couldn’t live without… a slit lamp and volk, and Peek Vision’s portable ophthalmoscope

Dhruvin Patel, London

“The most valuable tool is the slit lamp and the volk. The slit lamp allows us to do a thorough anterior eye examination, identifying any acute injuries like foreign bodies stuck in the eye, or any contact lens-related issues such as corneal ulcers with the help of fluorescein. The slit lamp also allows us to mount ourselves and the volk accordingly, to do a thorough fundus examination with a far greater field of view than an ophthalmoscope and with dilation drops. These are my go-to pieces.

“On the go, Peek Vision's portable ophthalmoscope, which mounts on to most smartphones, is a real game-changer, allowing deep fundus examinations at a fraction of the price of a fundus capturing machine."

I couldn’t live without… an Opto Revo FC

Simon Rose, Essex and London

“I saw the Optopol REVO at 100% Optical. Having had OCT for the last 15 years, I was one of the first in the UK with the RTVue. I realised I needed to update, and the Optopol REVO was the one for me. When I received the machine it was working excellently, but I struggled initially to get used to the semi-automated mode, which is necessary to use on high myopes and on certain other specialist scans. After getting used to the semi-automated mode, I started to enjoy using it, and found it an absolute pleasure to get accurate images and managed to train up all the staff to use it. The Biometry software/axial length package has changed the way I deal with young myopes and myopia management.

“Lockdown changed the game for me. In practice I had to continue to work throughout, helping local GPs and eye units cope with urgent emergency and essential cases around minor eye care services (MECS) in the Hackney and Ilford areas. The REVO came into its own when I realised I could fully control it from another consulting room, allowing me to shield vulnerable elderly patients who had sudden vision loss.

“The Angiography software addition has proved invaluable in sorting out the wet from the dry AMDs. The Revo is now my main weapon, and not having to get close to patients but still giving them a thorough examination where needed is simple. I love it and can't wait for the topography add on.”

In the future I know I won’t be able to live without… the automatic phoropter

Mohamed Kasmani, Feltham

“I've ordered an automatic phoropter, so I don't have to be leaning so close to patients. I don't have to worry about cleaning lenses and so on, because I can get in one unit. Doing the test previously wasn't easy – I've had to disinfect all the lenses that I've been using, putting them onto one side. I'm quite meticulous, and quite neurotic about wanting to keep the whole environment nice and clean and safe.

If it’s the case that we have to invest in keeping our patients safe, then why not?

Mohamed Kasmani


It’s important for us to have that level of understanding that we want to get through this in the best way as possible. If it’s the case that we have to invest in keeping our patients safe, then why not? We need to bring eye care into the 21st century.”