Insights From Our Editors

How Do You Utilize Smartphones with Patients?

January 7, 2015

Many ODs are using smartphones for educational and promotional use, findings from Jobson Optical Research’s 2014 ECP Internet Usage Study reveal. Some 51.6 percent of respondents use smartphones for educational and promotional purposes, while 40.3 percent use smartphones to present product information. Some 14.5 percent use a smartphone for entertainment in the office, and 8.1 percent use it to aid visual screening. Some 6.5 percent use a smartphone for patients to fill out forms, and 35.5 percent use a smartphone for unspecified, “other” purposes.

Click HERE to purchase Jobson Optical Research’s 2014 ECP Internet Usage Study.

Doctors have always talked to patients. What’s new today is that tools we use while we talk with patients have changed. Interesting advancements are occurring today in downloads and apps. Let’s concentrate today on eyecare downloads and apps you can use in your practice.

Definition: Apps is an abbreviation for application. An app is a piece of software. It can run on the Internet, on your computer, or on your phone or other electronic device. The word “app” is a more modern usage, but this is really the same thing as a program.

Here are examples of eyecare downloads and apps that can be used in your practice:

RETINAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary devised a way of using smartphones to perform retinal photography. All you need is the app and a 20 diopter lens. Click HERE to read more about it.

VISUAL ACUITY
Visual acuity can be measured using your smartphone via an app utilizing Landot C’s. You select the distance (either 0.5m, 1m, 3m, or 5m) and then acuity is depending on distance and screen size. This could be very helpful with your patients with special needs. Click HERE to download the app.

MAGNIFYING GLASS
If your phone or tablet has a flash, then this app not only magnifies, but also has a light. It can also freeze frame what is viewed, so you don’t have to hold the device steady while reading. Click HERE for this app.

RETINA EDUCATION
iRetina has two modes: Reference and Quiz. Use the Reference section to educate patients about retinal conditions and the Quiz section to brush up on your diagnostic knowledge. Click HERE to learn more.

COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME PREVENTION
EyeCare by XVision alerts computer users every 20 minutes to take a break and look at something 20 feet or more away for 20 seconds. Click HERE to learn more.

EYECARE EDUCATION
The LUMA Eye App by Eyemaginations includes 30 videos explaining cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma, macular degeneration, refractive errors, and more. Click HERE for this app.

MORE EYECARE EDUCATION
Allaboutvision.com offers a helpful web site loaded with eye-related downloads and apps, such as:

• “8 tips for Healthy Eyes in the New Year”

• A list of the top 100 worst places in the US for fall allergies

• Amsler Grid

• Booklet that teaches kids the basic concepts of vision and is loaded with amazing facts about eyes in the animal kingdom

• A report from the Vision Council explaining the causes of digital eyestrain with strategies for improving computer workstations

• Eye Health Checklist

• “Eye-Healthy Desserts for Two”

• Booklet about Exploring Optical Illusions

• A guide to eye safety at work

• Consumers Products Safety Commission annual report on fireworks-related eye injuries and other accidents that produced ER visits

• One-page information sheet describing how smoking is associated with many eye diseases

• Infographic explaining why smoking is bad for your eyes

• Vision Council infographic on UV protection

• Large-print booklet from the NEI/NIH for visually impaired people and their caregivers showing resources they can use to live life independently

• Fashion color guide to help with sunglass and frame selection

• One-page guide for preventing the spread of pink eye

• Ski goggles features checklist

• Vision plans benefits and price comparison worksheets

Click HERE to access these downloads and apps.

EXAMPLES OF HOW PEOPLE WITH EYE DISEASES SEE
The Braille Institute developed an app to let people with good vision see what the world looks like to someone with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts. Click HERE to access this app.

MEDICATION REMINDERS

EyeDROPS is an eye medication reminder that offers a database of eye medications and the ability to take a photo of each bottle. Click HERE for this app.

Your assignment this week is to review how you are using computers, tablets and smartphones for educational and promotional use within your practice. Find ways to improve what you are doing.

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