Adapting Your Store's Vision Exams for COVID-19

How you can change your store model to safely administer vision exams during COVID-19

Learn how to adapt your store model to keep your staff and customers safe. We spoke with Lumos Optical to hear about the steps they’re taking to safely provide vision exams. 

Many small businesses around the country have been struggling with reopening their stores safely and avoiding overcrowded their shops. For glasses stores and optometrist practices, this can be especially hard to navigate because of up close vision exams and glasses frames tried on by many different customers.

Lumos Optical had their grand opening on May 1st when the country was seeing COVID-19 cases back on the rise. Despite their unconventional opening, vision exams have become their most popular service. They’ve created a store model that allows them to keep selling while keeping their staff and customers safe. 

Safety Practices – Introducing the Appointment Based Model

To help handle their popularity, Lumos has been taking extra steps to ensure they’re staying safe. In addition to requiring masks and wiping down all glasses between use, they’ve decided to introduce an appointment-based model to their store

“We’ve had to adapt our business model because of COVID,” Lumos said. “We are appointment-based only instead of being open to the public. This allows us to clean and sanitize between each visit.”

Requiring appointments can help reduce crowded stores and give customers the peace of mind when shopping in person.

Lumos Optical and Smart Vision Labs

The store owners chose to integrate the SVOne into their business model early on. “We knew from the beginning that we wanted to integrate Smart Vision Labs,” they said. With Smart Vision Exams, Lumos Optical has seen increases in sales and become a one-stop glasses destination.

For many doctor’s offices, COVID-19 has created an appointment backlog and patients are less likely want in-person exams. The SVOne allows stores to help customers to renew prescriptions quickly and safely. “We didn’t know how popular the Smart Vision Exam was going to be. During our first month, we realized that the majority of appointments made were for vision exams. We saw an overwhelming number of appointments for the vision exam for people coming out of quarantine.”

Learn more about integrating Smart Vision Exams into your store and contact us find out more how the SVOne can help you increase vision exams and sales during COVID-19.

The Socially Distanced Vision Exam

Introducing the Socially Distanced Vision Exam

Smart Vision Exams are an easy addition to any glasses store to make your shop a one-stop destination. We spoke with Salem Opticals in North Carolina to get tips on operating your business during COVID-19 and how Smart Vision Exams have been helping them to drive up business and increase vision exams.

COVID-19 has been hitting small businesses across the country, with an average of 31.4% of business owners saying it will be six months before things go back to normal. But some Smart Vision users have been able to make lemonade out of lemons and have been seeing their number of vision exams go up since reopening. 

For Salem Opticals in North Carolina, they’ve seen a huge surge in exams since reopening. “Doctors have backlogs for anywhere up to four months now because of COVID,” the store owner said. “With the SVOne, we’ve been able to take in more customers with the quick service. Before we were only doing 1-2 vision exams per day. Now, we have anywhere between 8-12.”

Working long days from home can mean staring at the computer screen for up to eight hours everyday. Glasses wearers looking to renew their prescriptions find themselves waiting anywhere from a month upwards to schedule an appointment. With the SVOne, your store can become a one-stop destination where customers can get their prescription renewed and snag a new pair of glasses—all in one day! 

Safety Tips for Your Store

Salem Opticals also shared some of their tips for operating safely during the pandemic:

  1. Make sure to follow all CDC guidelines and local/state regulations.
  2. Follow social distancing recommendations and ask that all your customers and staff wear masks indoors!
  3. Disinfect all equipment (including the SVOne!) as well as all frames that customers try on and touch to keep down the chances of the spread of infection!

Integrate the SVOne today and start administering Smart Vision Exams in your store. “People are open and responsive to Smart Vision exams because they’re short and not in your face. Customers always come out happy.”

Smart Vision Exam Demo

How to run a refraction exam during a pandemic? A few key points to remember

  1. Wear a face mask and gloves during the exam
  2. Use alcohol wipes to clean the device (including the eye cup) after each patient
  3. Keep 6 feet of physical distance between store employees and patients

Make sure to watch our training video for more details!

Best Practices for Telemedicine Prescribing

Get ready to learn from veteran Doctor and legal expert, Dr. David Silverman on telemedicine platform best practices and prescribing.

Dr. Silverman takes a deep dive into the language and best practices to communicate with doctors and technicians on the Smart Vision Labs telemedicine platform.

About Dr. David Silverman, M.D., Esq.

Dr. Silverman, M.D., Esq. is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist and active fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has practiced Ophthalmology for over two decades; since completing his Residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas in 1992.

Graduating Magna cum Laude with a degree in Cellular Molecular Biology, Dr. Silverman then attended Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia where he graduated with Honors. He then completed a year of training in Internal Medicine at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center before entering and completing his Ophthalmology residency.

Later in his career, Dr. Silverman found that he enjoyed moonlighting as a professor at a local university where he taught Human Anatomy and Physiology courses to aspiring doctors and nurses. This helped him rediscover his love for teaching, and he joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Medical Center so that he could help teach the ophthalmologists of tomorrow.

Most recently, Dr. Silverman returned to private practice, and he is now a member of the Eye Clinic and Laser Institute in the Space Coast region of Florida.

The Art of Prescribing with Telemedicine

The Art of Prescribing with Telemedicine

Are you interested in the process of how our prescriptions get calculated?

Learn from one of the experts! Dr. Lacey Dustin, analyzes different patient data and prescribes based on her years of practice. We cover extended examples from high minus patients to comprehensive referral.

About Dr. Lacey Dustin, OD

Since 2011, Lacey Dustin, O.D. has been providing care for approximately 100 patients per week of all ages at Harlem Vision Center, a busy clinic in an urban setting. At this location, she practices full-scope optometry with specialties including glaucoma management, diabetic ocular manifestations, cataract pre-operative and post-operative care along side of ophthalmology as well as refraction and contact lens fittings.

Lacey Dustin, O.D. received her doctorate degree from the State University of New York College of Optometry and a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Geneseo, Magna Cum Laude. Dr. Dustin also completed additional training as an optometry extern at Wenzhou Medical Hospital in China as well as Brooklyn Veterans Hospital in New York. She has done an array of volunteer work such as an optometric mission trip to El Salvador and has served providing care to the athletes in The Special Olympics.

We are delighted and lucky to be able to work alongside of her.

The Telemedicine Advantage

The Telemedicine Advantage in Optometry

In the last two weeks, we have been asked by many optometrists and Ophthalmologists on how to run telemedicine for their practices. They are looking for solutions to help them deliver service to patients during and post pandemic.

Dr. Tihomira Petkova is an optometrist and vision scientist with deep clinical experience. During this webinar she discusses the advantages of using telemedicine in optometry.

Take a look at the webinar with Dr. Petkova: Here

Detecting Cataracts with Remote Wavefront Aberrometry

How the SVOne is detecting cataracts with remote Wavefront Aberrometry

Detecting cataracts and referring for comprehensive care:

Our wavefront refraction technology has the ability to detect early signs of cataract development. In this case, we demonstrate how our optometrists/ophthalmologists use Smart Vision Labs’ telemedicine platform to detect signs of early-stage cataracts and send for a comprehensive cataract referral.

The patient is an elderly gentleman visiting one of SVL’s partner eyewear retail locations. Patient went through the wavefront refraction test, and the data was reviewed by a licensed ophthalmologist. The doctor referred the patient for cataract evaluation. There are 3 data points standing out about the patient.

  1. Patient age is 75 years old, in the high possibility zone of developing cataracts.
  2. Patient’s unaided Visual Acuity for both eyes is 20/200.
  3. The wavefront images for both OD and OS show symptoms of light blockage in lens pathway; indicated by the red circles.

Exploring Mobile Vision Care

Good Hope Ministries distributes over 10,000 pairs of reading and prescription glasses a year in Malawi Africa using their SVOne device. The Good Hope team travels to about 90-100 villages each year, in 2019 they helped about 15-60 patients in each rural village.

Good Hope has received a second SVOne will now be able to open a walk-in eye clinic at their head office in February. They are expected to see at least 20-30 people a day in their new office.

All glasses are given free of charge in the villages and at the home base clinic, they charge $1.00 for a pair of glasses.

They are also able to give away 40-60 pairs of reading glasses in each village. Good Hope also visits four prisons in Malawi and distributes glasses there. They have tried other autorefractors, but now only use the SVOne. The SVOne works very well for the mobile vision care they provide.


The Future of Optical Retail is Convenience

Customer Spotlight: Modern Day OptX

What technology do you use in your optical store? 

I’ve used Smart Vision for three years.  My newest store technology creates an accurate 3D scan of your face; Capturing your biometric measurements. Customers can move and see themselves in a custom pair of glasses that fit them perfectly. They can see exactly how the frame looks from different angles. You can design 8 billion pairs of glasses.

Why do you work with Smart Vision Labs? 

The Smart Vision Exam works with people’s schedules. One thing I hate is making an appointment, the Doctor’s office, for example, and I’m waiting for an hour or two. I have been not double booked but triple booked for my appointment.

I want to be on people’s schedules. My availability for an eye exam is from 11:30-7. When you’re available, get an eye exam. The exam takes 5-10 minutes; it’s inexpensive, and 99% of the time right. We can get it right for our customers. I work with the fast-pace New Yorkers, and I’m on their schedule.

What do you want to accomplish with your business? 

I want to offer high-end products at the lowest price. By investing in technology, I don’t have as many overhead costs. I can give my customers a convenient high-end product at a lower price.

Customer Spotlight: Empowering your Store

After using SVL for over two years, what stories do you have with your customers? 

We had a customer in her early-twenties visit our LA stores. She did a quick Smart Vision exam and had a pair of glasses later that day, she put them on and walked over to the mirror. She started screaming at the top of her lungs, yelling bloody murder. “I can see every line on my face.” She saw every detail in her face. It was a scary day in the store. This customer wouldn’t have glasses without SVL. The retail optician environment was key to helping this customer. She didn’t believe she needed glasses. We encourage her to try the Smart Vision exam in what ultimately helped her to have corrected vision. Now that she’s aware she does not see 20/20, she is more likely to go to an eye Doctor.

Why did you choose Smart Vision Labs?

What appealed to us about SVL was the convenience for customers. A lot of our clientele work within Hollowood and are short on time. People don’t have time, but they need to see. We still recommend they schedule a visit with their Doctor, but our customers need something that works for them today. You can’t always squeeze in a Dr’s appointment in your schedule, but you can still squeeze in an SVL exam. A Doctor can’t be there seven days a week, but an optician can. These are some of the benefits of a retail optician environment. We have a Doctor at some of our locations and still work with Smart Vision.

How has SVL made a difference in your business? 

When customers bring in their prescriptions, we fill it correctly, but they are only going to see as well as that prescription. With SVL, we can see the visual acuity and Dr’s notes and make sure the patient’s expectation and the prescription are aligned. There is an expectation of, “you made my glasses, why am I not seeing perfectly.” We can only send them back to their optometrist. Using SVL, we can get that feedback to the Doctor immediately. We have more of a direct impact on getting our customers the right pair of glasses. I think it’s a win. It lets us fully take care of our customers.

Any tips for SVL users?

We have a document that we have created that encourages customers to get a Doctor eye visit and explains that the SVL isn’t a comprehensive eye exam. We clarify that the customer still needs to go to a Doctor for the eye health check. I recommend being transparent about this not being a replacement for an eye exam.