I could not live without…

The IMP4

AOP Awards Dispensing Optician of the Year, Sue Edwards, on how the simple-to-use IMP4 enables the focus to remain on the patient, allowing for increased interaction

Sue Edwards

My working day is rather full. Working as a practice manager, plus overseeing and managing the dispensing at an independent practice, keeps me very busy. I took on the role of practice manager in 2014 after enjoying many great years dispensing in independent practices in different locations.

I also locumed for a few years and learnt my trade in a pretty all-encompassing way – picking up best practice and developing an understanding for all the things I definitely didn’t like along the way.

I now work at Martin Smith Opticians, which a is a vibrant, forward-looking practice led by Dr Martin Smith, who invests keenly in the practice to bring the best of the latest technological advances to clients. Last year, aware that the consulting room had a beautiful top of the range optical coherence tomography (OCT) device, ground-breaking 3D sight testing and a bundle of other exciting, shiny kit, I knew the time had come to really raise the level of the equipment in the dispensing room.

We are lucky to have a private dispensing room and although it had recently been modernised, we refurbished it again around the new, beautiful IMP4.

I am so confident in the results that I just use my marking pen for colouring


Dispensing dreams

The IMP4 is the latest fourth generation 3D measurement and dispensing tool. It has had a major upgrade since its last version and the software interface has been redesigned. I used an earlier model in my locum days, but it didn’t inspire me or the team that I worked with, and I didn’t really enjoy using it. However, this model is exciting and really simple to use, with the added value of being incredibly quick. I also think it looks beautiful, which is really important for creating a good impression in the dispensing area.

The other major factor that I like is that it is really accurate. I am accurate with my ruler and pen having been trained ‘old school,’ but I just don’t believe that it’s ok to dispense in this way anymore.

Prior to purchasing the IMP4, we were using an iPad with an attachment that fitted on to the frame, but the measurements were very dependent on steady handling and almost took away the focus from the patient. While we had success with it, I still felt the need to support it with my own measurements. But since the arrival of the IMP4, I am so confident in the results that I just use my marking pen for colouring.   

I am prone to getting excited about anything that makes the time I spend with patients more engaging and less complicated


Using the IMP4

The IMP4 is also patient-friendly and impressive. The full remit of measurements for individualised lenses are taken in a fraction of a second. While it involves some analysis afterwards, this is no problem at all.   

The device also has some dispensing programmes included such as designing bespoke individualised lenses, which can be used to demonstrate the benefits of premium lenses over standard lenses, tints and coatings to patients. It also links to the Rodenstock-WinFit ordering system, working as a complete procedure.

I may sound slightly over-enthusiastic, as it’s a dispensing tool after all. However, I am prone to getting excited about anything that makes the time I spend with patients more engaging and less complicated. It gives me more time to listen, build relationships and ensure I completely understand what the hopes and requirements of my client are. For me, the IMP4 allows me to do just that. 

  • As told to Emily McCormick.