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Why patients will pay more for advanced retinal imaging technology

In a survey by Optos 58% of people said receiving the most advanced technology is the most valuable aspect of regular eye exams

The future of eye care is evolving. But as technology advances, so do patients’ views towards their eye health.

According to an industry-first survey by Optos, specialists in the design and manufacturing of imaging technology, almost two thirds (58%) of people say receiving the most advanced technology is the most valuable aspect of regular eye exams.

This is followed by almost half (46%) wanting trustworthy expertise and a third (30%) wanting low-cost glasses or contact lens options.

Almost two thirds (58%) of people say receiving the most advanced technology is the most valuable aspect of regular eye exams

 

It pays to care

The research, which was commissioned to gain insight into how UK adults view the health of their eyes and their understanding and expectations of eye exams, revealed a clear desire for advanced technology, and the willingness to pay for better imaging.

In fact, the survey found that more than two-thirds are willing to pay more for in-depth examinations, spending an additional £19 on average for an optomap.

Three-fifths stated that the reassurance that potential issues can be found early in a comprehensive examination was a key factor in why people are willing to pay more for an optomap.

But how does advanced imaging technology work? An Optos device will produce an optomap which provides a 200° view of the retina in a single capture. This means the examiner can see 82% of the retina compared to a standard fundus image which only shows 15%.

By opting for an optomap, patients are increasing their chances of detecting problems such as retinal detachments and tears, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy early.

This detailed information not only helps with early pathology detection, but it can also assist eye care professionals in implementing more effective disease management approaches – protecting the patient’s vision in the long-term.

The examiner can see 82% of the retina compared to a standard fundus image which only shows 15%

 

Education is key

However, while it is positive to see an increased interest surrounding eye health, there is still much to be done to educate patients. In the UK, more than 3.2 million (6%) adults have still never attended an eye examination. Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) of adults have not been for an eye exam in more than three years and only a fifth (20%) of people have had an eye exam in the past 12 months. Despite this, over three-quarters (78%) claim their eye health is very important to them.

When it comes to understanding the capabilities of eye examinations, more than three-quarters recognised that certain conditions and diseases can be detected. More than half correctly identified that diabetes was one of those diseases, while 47% knew that certain cancers can also be detected.

Educating these groups on the benefits of regular check-ups and how they can identify potential diseases early is key in helping protect people’s vision. Even if a patient doesn’t think they have any issues, advanced retinal imaging technology allows an optician to carry out a very detailed exam both quickly and from a safe distance.

It’s critical we work together as an industry, especially as we support practices in getting back on their feet after such a challenging year

 

Gareth Steer, VP of European Sales for Optos, said: “The results of our research show the majority of people take their eye health seriously and recognise the importance of detecting diseases early. As a result, they are willing to pay more for comprehensive eye exams that use advanced technology and truly value the advice they receive from eye care professionals, which is positive to see.

“That said, there is still some work to do to help patients fully understand the importance of the benefits that come with advanced retinal imaging technology, to ensure they make the best decisions to protect their vision.

“It’s critical we work together as an industry, especially as we support practices in getting back on their feet after such a challenging year, to continue to provide this education.

“At Optos, we will support those looking to implement and carry out advanced imaging with their customers and be able to do so in the safest environment possible.”

Optos is the only company in the world that provides ultra-widefield imaging technology, which gives a 200° view of the retina in a single capture using its ground-breaking retinal image, optomap. It has sold more than 18,000 of its ultra-widefield imaging devices to eye care professionals across the world.

Find out more about what patients want from their eye exams and how an optomap can help you protect patients’ vision more effectively than ever before by downloading the ebook at www.optos.com/UK-ebook/