Specsavers announces OCT partnerships

Heidelberg Engineering and Nidek have been announced as suppliers

Specsavers Heidelberg eye test

Specsavers has confirmed Heidelberg Engineering and Nidek as its optical coherence tomography (OCT) suppliers in the UK and Ireland.

The multiple announced in May that all 740 of its practices would have an OCT installed within the next two years.

Managing eye health

Within days of the announcement, 432 practices had signed up as early adopters, the director of professional advancement at Specsavers, Paul Morris explained.

“There is enthusiasm and passion for the opportunity to offer the latest in imaging technology to our patients so that we can better identify and manage their eye health over a lifetime,” he said.

Practices will now be able to select either the Nidek Retina Scan Duo, which combines OCT with digital retinal photography, or a Specsavers edition of the Spectralis Spirit from Heidelberg Engineering, which combines pseudo-colour fundus and OCT imaging.

Mr Morris added that both solutions offer partners ease of use, speed, full service agreements, as well as support and training.

Speaking about the partnerships, Mr Morris said: “Specsavers have traded with Nidek for over 30 years. They are a proven and trusted brand with a great track record of delivering high quality instrumentation to both the optometric and medical sector.”

“Our relationship with Heidelberg is new. The quality of their OCT devices needs no explanation. We have worked with them to offer a solution that is unique for Specsavers alongside their suite of existing OCT options. I’m confident that this will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” he added.

Relieving the burden

Director of Heidelberg Engineering UK, Krysten Williams, explained that the partnership with Specsavers “raises the bar” and “encourages the NHS to recognise the profession as the logical choice for commissioning and paying for services provided in the community.”

“We have just one ophthalmologist per 50,000 people in the UK. By comparison, in Germany the figure is one per 11,100 people,” she added. 

“High Street optometry could help to relieve the burden on hospital eye departments, who are faced with an ageing demographic, and an alarming rise in age-related eye disease,” she concluded.