Grow Your Business with Portable Autorefractors - Smart Vision Labs

How to Grow Your Business with Portable Autorefractors

We recently held a webinar on how an advanced autorefractor can grow your business. Smart Vision Labs’ CEO and inventor of the SVOne technology, Yaopeng Zhou, touched upon a range of topics from the facets of the technology itself, to the sectors where portable autorefractorsare being used and the results that have been seen in those very sectors. Whether being used in a mobile optometry practice, optical retail store, mission service trip, or even in determining the next best Major League Baseball player, our advanced, portable autorefractor has helped our partners achieve excellent results for themselves and for their patients. Below are some highlights from the webinar to help take your practice or retail operation to a whole new level.

“What’s the evolution of the Smart Vision Labs’ SVOne Autorefractor? What was the process and can you provide a little bit of the backstory behind the design?”

The inspiration for Smart Vision Labs started out 4 years ago when I read an article saying there are over a billion people around the globe who suffer from uncorrected vision. Back then there were two reasons for that: number one was due to the lack of access to eye care professionals, and number two was that the existing technology was often too bulky and expensive. So the inspiration was to build something I could put in my pocket that anyone could easily use. Fast forward 4 years, here we are with our latest device release. And the story behind the device is pretty interesting from an engineer and designer perspective. Our old initial design in counter with market feedback taught us a lot. That’s why in the last 3 years we’ve launched 3 generations of autorefractors. We received a ton of feedback from the market as well as from the over 500 doctors using our device. This feedback is what led to the release of this current generation.

The biggest change with the current generation is with the physical appearance and, specifically, the stand we now use that dealt with some issues our partners’ were encountering with alignment. The first generation was a handheld device, and we noticed subtle differences depending on who was administering the exam due to how they were holding it and the overall differences in hand stability. When measuring sub micron level precision, every little thing matters. So we took what we learned from market feedback and put it an adjustable, physical stand to stabilize the measurement process. We also optimized the software.

“If I’m running a practice – say I’m an optometrist or ophthalmologist – how long would it take to train my staff to use the device?”
I would say no more than 30 to 45 minutes to train someone on using the device. And I wouldn’t even call it training, I would call it guidance and just becoming familiar with the process.

“So what does the future evolution of the product look like?”
It’s really digging into the wavefront technology. This autorefractor is powerful and we were able to create something so powerful while also figuring out a way to shrink down the technology to something ten times smaller than anything else in the market. We can provide a customized prescription for everyone beyond sphere cylinder. We want to give people vision even better than 20/20. The future is using a device like this to match the digital technology on the lens manufacturing side and then ensuring that everyone has an exact pair of glasses which meet their specific needs. For a normal person like you and I, 20/20 vision is probably okay. But when you’re looking at a more high-end market, maybe people would want to pay extra money to have better than 20/20 vision. From military professionals to sports leagues, there are so many markets where having vision better that 20/20 is really important.

“So we did a number of clinical studies. Can you talk a little about our latest one on Major League Baseball players with Dr. Laby?”
So this clinical study was conducted last year during the spring training season with 5 MLB teams and over 600 players. We discovered that they have 20/12 vision much higher than the average person and even approaching levels or “superhuman eyesight.” In baseball, any refractive error is detrimental. Players need to be able to capitalize on any potential advantage, such as correction of refractive errors. We found that with our refraction technology, MLB players have 0.22 diopter sphere and less than 1/10 diopter cylinder. Most eyeglasses typically won’t even correct that. So I was blown away at how our technology can detect something that a normal lens wouldn’t correct.

“Can you also talk about the pediatric study? With the back-to-school season coming up, lots of kids need glasses to see the board at school. What did you find interesting about this study?”
With a pediatric market, the most important thing is accommodation. So the question with this market is how do you develop a technology with truly relaxing accommodation power? Well, that’s exactly what we did. Our autorefractor relaxes the patient through the ease of its technology. And that combined with the accuracy of the wavefront technology creates a tool that can successfully detect young people’s refractive error.

As for the peer reviewed clinical study, we conducted on healthy adults ages 18 to 35, we found similar results in accuracy. We were able to successfully prove the correlation between our device results and manifest refraction result and were able to detect a correlation coefficient of 0.97. That’s an insanely good number and we’re truly very proud of this technology. Not to mention this was done 3 years ago with our original technology which has only improved since then.

“Were there any case studies that surprised you or were there any findings in the clinical studies that you weren’t expecting?”
I would have to say the Major League Baseball study. I wouldn’t necessarily say I was surprised, but I was definitely amazed by it. We shipped a device to Florida and someone who had never used our technology was able to get highly accurate results. It’s truly an indication of the device’s impressive user experience. Any doctor, or even any person for that matter, can pick this device up and get results similar to those in our clinical studies.

“So let’s talk a little bit about doctors. How do you see this product fitting into their practice, either as a complement or supplement piece of equipment?”
Well for doctors efficiency is key. They see tons of patients and every minute they’re able to save can translate to an economic benefit. With technology like this, they can do an exam right in the waiting room in just minutes without even needing to bring the patient into another room. Additionally, the technology is mobile so you can bring it anywhere. The device itself weighs about 1 lb. There is some added weight because of the stand, but you can also buy a commercial tripod to place the device onto. It’s very easy to move around and with this technology, you can essentially carry your practice with you in a bag. That was unimaginable even 5 years ago. What’s also great about this is that doctors with busy practices who have patients coming in for different needs are now able to direct patients based upon those needs in a more efficient way. It’s sort of like triaging. If they only require a vision exam, the doctor can now do that quickly and devote more time to patients in need of more comprehensive care. This autorefractor allows doctors to be the champion of efficiency through optimizing their workflow by sending patients to different areas of specialties based on their needs.

“How do you see doctors using our device and/or getting involved in telemedicine?”
There are multiple different scenarios on how doctors could get involved in telemedicine. For the doctor who travels a lot but wants to be able to keep the clinic or practice open while he’s traveling, he’s now able to do that. It really depends on how much they want to get involved and the extent at which they want to incorporate telemedicine into their practice. I’ve seen doctors wanting to help other optical retail locations in their free time that are now able to do that. Regardless of their desired level of involvement, telemedicine allows for a lot more flexibility.

“Do you have any advice for new doctors or optometrists as it related to technology?”
We’re in an age of cutting edge technology with a lot of new advances constantly occurring. My advice would be to immerse yourself in learning about these technologies in person to get a sense of what they’re all about. These new technologies might become the status quo and you definitely don’t want to be left behind. You want to acquire all the knowledge – even the knowledge beyond the schools – to incorporate into your practice. We’ll be at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, September 13-16, 2017 if you want to come see the technology in person, go through the exam, and just play around with it.

“Let’s go through how quick the refraction process takes.”
You can see (video below) once the eye appears in front of the camera, the software is automatically triggering the camera to take a picture without even touching the screen. It takes 3 images per eye and the results appear right away, even faster than the previous generation. The device really is hands-free. This sort of experience was not available before in the medical device industry. So we decided to combine an easy to use consumer experience with a very sophisticated medical device. It’s something that we’re really proud of.


“Since launching the product, what was your biggest ‘Aha’ moment?”
Generally speaking, it was probably just with the learning process of it all. We launched our first product 3 years ago and I thought to myself, “Okay that’s it! I figured it out, this is the ending product.” But I quickly realized that it’s a process that involves a lot of learning. People give you suggestions, you get feedback from the market, and you then make the product better. I didn’t initially realize how much the product would develop.

“What would you have done differently?”
I would have to say I would’ve had better communication from day one. I’m not a medical doctor and I don’t think we communicated with optometrists and ophthalmologists enough. When we entered this industry, we had a mission as tech guys to solve a real problem. So I would have had better communication with ODs and MDs to tell them what we want to accomplish. It’s something that really would’ve helped us along the way.

An advanced autorefractor, and specifically the SVOne, has substantially helped grow optometry practices and optical retail stores. Its portability, affordability, and clinically proven accuracy makes the SVOne an excellent addition to any practice or retail operation. If you’re interested in learning more about the SVOne autorefractor, request a demo for a more in-depth understanding of how the device works.

Get a new autorefractor - Smart Vision Labs

Related Posts
Shopping for an Autorefractor?
Autorefractors in the Clinic and Beyond
Opportunity Tip: Mobile Optometry Practices for Nursing Homes

Smart Vision Labs
902 Broadway
Floor 7, Suite 2
New York, NY 10010

212-796-6124
info@smartvisionlabs.com

© 2017 Smart Vision Labs. All rights reserved.