Tracey Taylor founded her practice in Compton in 1994, alongside partner Mike Biddle. Two years later, Taylor Biddle Opticians opened its second site in Wombourne.
To this day, the company enjoys success across both locations, running a minor eye conditions service and a hearing clinic.
Determined to always stay one step ahead of the game, in November 2018 Taylor Biddle Opticians introduced the ultra-widefield technology (UWFTM) of an Optos Daytona into the screening that the practice offers at its original premises.
Producing an optomap® – a 200° single-capture digital image of the retina – the device makes retinal breaks, tears and detachments more visible. “It essentially provides photographic proof of the health of a patient’s eye and pin points anything untoward,” states Tracey.
Having been the first practice in the area to purchase a retinal camera and the local pioneer of optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology, Taylor Biddle wanted to maintain its leading status. Tracey explains: “We invested in the Daytona with the idea of staying a cut above our competitors. As far as I know, we’re the only Midlands opticians that gives our patients the opportunity to benefit from such ground-breaking technology.”
One factor adding to the lure of Optos technology is that it does not require patients to undergo dilation. According to Tracey: “The Daytona produces an image of unparalleled quality, without all the inconvenience dilation involves. Patients favour it as they don’t have to bother with eye drops or arrange for someone else to drive them home.”
“Once its benefits are explained, I find that patients are usually far more open to using it”
The difference it has made
Despite having only implemented the Daytona into the practice a few months ago, around 25% of Tracey’s patients now opt for it.
Taylor Biddle makes use of Optos' marketing material, visible in the waiting room and also shown to patients at the start of their appointment in the form of a flip chart, to encourage interest in the product.
Although sometimes confronted by a reluctance to pay extra for screening that incorporates use of the imaging device, Tracey is not concerned about the technology’s uptake. She comments: “Once its benefits are explained, I find that patients are usually far more open to using it.”
Tracey continues: “We intend to slightly increase the price of our service upgrade, which combines the use of the Daytona and the OCT, as we think it is far more valuable than our prices currently reflect.”
For Tracey and her patients, the imaging device possesses the ‘wow’ factor. She says: “When I first started practising 30 years ago, you could only see 10% of what is now made possible with an optomap. Being able to access practically the whole of the retina brings such reassurance.”
Since being introduced into the practice, the Optos device has uncovered an early detachment, a malignant melanoma, and even a blood disorder amongst Taylor Biddle’s patients – conditions that an OCT scan had overlooked. “Without the Daytona,” Tracey explains, “we wouldn’t have been able to refer these patients to get the help they needed.”
“Our customers are very much at the heart of our business, and optomap really is key to us offering the best healthcare possible”
She continues: “If I’m honest, I wouldn’t feel confident consulting patients without this technology now. It has such a positive impact, which extends far beyond just looking at our company’s finances. Our customers are very much at the heart of our business, and optomap really is key to us offering the best healthcare possible.”
While still in the early stages of its Optos journey, Taylor Biddle Opticians feels comfortable using the Daytona and hasn’t looked back once. Tracey explains: “Ongoing support from Optos has really helped us feel at ease when using the imaging device. The training the company offers is second to none and we’ve got another session just around the corner to maximise our knowledge of the device and keep us informed of the health concerns it can indicate.”
Now rather attached to optomap, Tracey claims there is absolutely no reason not to invest in Optos technology. She concludes: “It’s a no brainer. Why wouldn’t you?”