The portable SVOne Autorefractor by Smart Vision Labs

What Is the Gold Standard: Subjective or Objective Refraction?

A Practical and Complementary Approach to the Gold Standard of Subjective Refraction– Wavefront Refraction

We recently held a webinar with optometrist Dr. Tihomira on how to incorporate telemedicine into your optometry practice. Dr. Tihomira is a leading optometrist who embraced telemedicine and is influencing the technology development. One of the main topics she discussed was how automated refraction and telemedicine technologies are challenging the gold standard of subjective refraction. Subjective refraction is widely accepted as the optimal refraction method in the industry, despite how variable the process can be. So if subjective refraction is not necessarily the most repeatable method, why is it still considered to be the best way to determine someone’s prescription?

The use of a manual phoropter to conduct a subjective refraction continues to be considered the gold standard in the industry. The question is why? This process is influenced by multiple factors including; the ambient lighting of the room, the quality of the projections system, the cognitive awareness of the doctor and the patient during the process, and both the doctor’s and patient’s previous experience with refraction. All these factors play a role in the determination of the final prescription and the accuracy of that prescription.

Doctors try to control as many variables as possible but ultimately refraction remains a very variable process. A clinical study published by Bullimore illustrates the variability of subjective refraction. The study compared refractions done on the same patient by two separate clinicians and found that, for sphere, the 95% limit of agreement varied from -0.9 D to +0.6D. The study also reported that automated refraction is more repeatable than subjective refraction.

Automated Refraction

Wavefront aberrometry is challenging this gold standard of subjective refraction due to the repeatability of its results. When measuring the visual performance the technology assesses two components of the visual system: the optics that form the retinal image and the neural processing that transforms the retinal image into perception. Subjective refraction has historically been unique among methods of refraction. In considering both components in asking the observer to choose between a series of options, the goal is to optimize visual acuity.

However, wavefront aberrometry together with visual image quality metrics are changing the old model. A study published this year by Hastings et al. showed that 72% of patients preferred prescriptions generated using wavefront aberrometry optimized by visual image quality matrix, compared to prescriptions generated by subjective refraction. The SVOne autorefractor will include wavefront aberrometry in September of 2017.

The SVOne Technology

The SVOne autorefractor uses Shack-Hartmann wavefront autorefraction to capture 3 images per eye, taking 3 seconds per eye. Through the analysis of up to 120 points, a Zernike decomposition algorithm extracts the low order aberrations and converts them to sphere, cylinder, and axis. There are several unique features of the instrument, one of them is a least-squares reconstructor algorithm that adapts to pupil size on the fly. The device also features an open field design with machine learning algorithm allowing the system to – as soon as optimal pupil alignment is achieved – autocapture the measurements, thus eliminating proximal cues and limiting accommodation.

The SVOne is capable of measuring a wide range of refractive error, from -14 D to +14 D sphere, up to -7 D cylinder in 0.01D increments and axis measurements in increments of one degree. As you can appreciate from the image shown here, the device is very small, nothing like the autorefractor you are likely to find in most optometric offices. Additionally, it weighs less than 1 pound. To make the transfer of data easy, the device has the capability to store data in a HIPAA compliant cloud platform that can send data to your EMR.

Clinically Proven Accuracy of the SVOne Autorefractor

Clinical study data has been able to highlight the accuracy of the SVOne autorefractor. A study published by Ciufreda et al. in 2015 showed that SVOne refraction is accurate and has higher repeatability than subjective refraction. The study was conducted using 50 normal adults age 18 to 34, all correctable to normal vision. For all subjects retinoscopy, SVOne refraction and subjective refraction were determined and the difference between each of the findings and subjective refraction were quantified using the 95% limit of agreement.

data results from Smart Vision Labs clinical study

The table above shows the values calculated for the 95% LOA in diopters for retinoscopy and SVOne refraction as compared to subjective refraction. The table shows that for sphere, retinoscopy and SVOne show the same limit of agreement. Also, this finding shows that SVOne sphere measurements have variability similar to that of subjective refraction between clinicians as previously reported. The SVOne measurements for cylinder and axis were a bit more variable than retinoscopy, but as the authors concluded that could be due to alignment error, something that has been addressed by the introduction of a stand to which the instrument can be attached to, thus virtually eliminating misalignment errors and contamination of cylinder and axis measurements.

2-subjective-or-objective-refraction-data

The next table above shows repeatability data of 10 subjects. The data shows that SVOne refraction had higher repeatability than subjective refraction. This finding is again consistent with previous reports by Bullimore et al. showing that automated refraction is more repeatable than subjective.

The adult study was very strong but clinically we also needed to test the accuracy of the device on the majority of the population. A study was conducted to test how well the device performs within the pediatric population. Conducted by Rosenfeld et al., the study showed that SVOne refraction is also accurate in children and has higher repeatability than subjective refraction. The study was conducted using 40 normal children age 5 to 17, all correctable to normal vision. The study followed the same design as the adult study.

3-subjective-or-objective-refraction-data

The table above shows the values calculated for the 95% LOA in diopters for retinoscopy from SVOne refraction as compared to subjective refraction. The data shows that while sphere measurements using retinoscopy were a little bit more accurate, SVOne refraction varied by only additional +/-0.2 D, less than a quarter of a diopter. And both methods showed the same LOA for cylinder and axis.

4-subjective-or-objective-refraction-data
The next table above shows repeatability data of 5 subjects. The data shows that the SVOne has the highest repeatability across all components of the refraction, sphere, cylinder and axis. The study confirmed that the SVOne is an accurate and repeatable way to measure refractive error in children.

SVOne Refraction: The New Gold Standard?

Through clinical studies and the feedback and results from doctors using the SVOne, we were able to conclude that automated refraction and the SVOne are certainly challenging the gold standard of subjective refraction due to the accuracy and repeatability of refraction results.

SVOne technology is a practical approach to solve the challenge when subjective refraction is too costly or unavailable. If you are running multiple optical retail stores, and have difficulties to capture walk-in customers due to lack to ability to provide on-site vision exams. SVOne is the perfect solution to provide fast and accurate eyewear prescriptions to your customers. If you are running a mobile clinic, and conducting manual refraction is too cumbersome, SVOne is the solution to provide clinically proven vision care to your customers. If you are running an overseas mission trip, and facing thousands of patients in the duration of a few days, SVOne is the portable solution that can offer efficient vision exams in a big way.

If interested in learning more about the SVOne autorefractor, request a demo to see the refraction process.

Demo the SVOne Autorefractor

Related Posts

How to Grow Your Business with Portable Autorefractors
Shopping for an Autorefractor?
Autorefractors in the Clinic and Beyond
Opportunity Tip: Mobile Optometry Practices for Nursing Homes


How to Grow Your Business with Portable Autorefractors with Smart Vision Labs CEO Yaopeng Zhou

How to Grow Your Business with Portable Autorefractors

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


svone autorefractor by Smart Vision Labs

Shopping for an Autorefractor?

Tips on How to Select an Autorefractor

SVOne Autorefractor from Smart Vision LabsWhen it comes to conducting vision exams, and specifically measuring just how much your patients’ eyes need to be corrected, an autorefractor is the optimal tool to measure the refractive error of the eye. There are many autorefractors on the market to choose from. But when considering the different purchasing options, it’s vital to decide which direction you would like to take your optometry practice and consider which attributes of an autorefractor allow you to move in that direction. The measurements taken by all autorefractors can translate into a prescription for eyeglasses or for contact lenses. But the SVOne autorefractor has a unique set of features that differ from the average desktop autorefractor. And why settle for just average?

The technology of the SVOne is a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, allowing you to view spotfield readout in real time. These types of sensors have the ability to measure a very wide range or local wavefront inclinations. This level of wavefront distortion is not typically accessible through other technologies. This is not your average autorefractor.

Physically speaking, the SVOne autorefractor can either be handheld or mounted on a height-adjustable stand. And for all you budding photographers/videographers, it is even compatible with a commercially available tripod. The SVOne autorefractor is perfect for the mobile optometry practice, or even for convenient mobility around an optical store or optometry practice. Its versatility makes it an excellent purchase.

The device itself has hands-free alignment, driven by a machine learning algorithm. The patient no longer needs to be seated with their chin in a stabilizing chin rest, as the machine will stabilize the image itself. Those clunky autorefractors in the dark optometrist’s office are pretty outdated. Don’t be afraid to try the new, innovative technologies. All the “cool kids” are doing it.

The SVOne weighs approximately 1 lb (454 g). Its lightweight feature makes it highly portable for the mobile optometry practice. It’s also perfect for that person who might skip the gym visit a little too often – even they will have no problem carrying this portable autorefractor.

Remember the days where all medical records were stored in file cabinets? Well, I don’t, I was barely alive for those days. But anyways, they are now long gone. This autorefractor has the ability to store up to 4,000 saved refractions right on the device and has unlimited refraction data storage in the cloud. And don’t worry about privacy and security, Smart Vision Labs is HIPAA compliant.

If you’re still the old-fashioned “I like a hard-copy of my records” kind of person, we have an option for you too. The SVOne autorefractor can connect to any AirPlay printer to print exam results. We have iPhone technologies to thank for that one.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re all about speed and convenience. The vision exam itself is remarkably quick. And specifically, the data acquisition time is about 3 seconds per eye, and the autorefractor measures and averages 3 readings per eye. The results come in, figuratively speaking, in a blink of an eye.

And if you’re still skeptical, we have three clinical studies to prove the SVOne autorefractor accuracy. With the help of the SUNY College of Optometry and the Sports and Performance Vision Center, we were able to test the accuracy of this autorefractor in a population of MLB players, a general adult population, and a pediatric population. All three clinical studies concluded that the SVOne is well-equipped to measure a refractive index.

Lastly, if we still haven’t convinced you yet, we’ll play into your potential patriotic nature. All of our autorefractors are manufactured in the United States. So when returning to your optometry or retail operation with an SVOne, you can pride yourself on knowing that you gave your business to manufacturers on your very own soil.

If these attributes are anything your optical store or optometry practice is looking for in an autorefractor, request a demo of the SVOne to further see why this device is the perfect option for you.

Demo the SVOne Autorefractor
Issy Bonebrake is a born-again New Yorker living down in the Village. She considers herself to be a self-proclaimed, cautiously optimistic futurist. As a classic rock aficionado, she enjoys binge watching rockumentaries from the coziness of her less than 500 square footage apartment. 

Related Posts

Autorefractors in the Clinic and Beyond
The Essential Equipment Guide for a Modern Optometry Practice
For MLB Players, 20/20 Vision Just Isn’t Enough
Opportunity Tip: Mobile Optometry Practices for Nursing Homes


Autorefractors in the Clinic and Beyond

Taking Autorefractors Beyond The Clinic

According to the WHO, 246 million people around the world have low vision. 90% of those people happen to live in developing nations and in other low-income situations. Now absorb another statistic: 700 million people around the world do not have access to vision care. Now, what if there was a technology to continuously reduce that number? Since you are on this page, I think you already know the answer.

The wavefront technology behind the Smart Vision Labs portable autorefractor has actually existed for a while now. However, it has never been easier to prescribe people, and practice eye care, thanks to our compact and lightweight optometry equipment. We have essentially enabled optometrists and doctors to go beyond the clinical practice. The following are some situations where our technology has been utilized.

Optometry Practices

The first one is obvious. Our partner optometrists have done amazing things using our technology. Our partners attribute their purchase decisions to the accuracy, efficiency, speed, portability, and affordability of our product. They applaud how it has streamlined the refraction process while producing accurate objective refraction data.

One of our partners, Tony Prasnikar OD, had the following to say:

“The SVOne has been in place only a short time and already patients are talking about it. Also, patients are finding this refraction process much more comfortable and enjoyable. Happy patients make for a healthy practice.”

Eye care practice by optometrists using the SVOne autorefractor

Optical Stores

Owning an optical store in this day and age is far from easy. Because of advances in technology and stiff competition from innovative retail shops, the independent optical store owner is under constant pressure to keep up with the times. Portable autorefractors have provided an innovative competitive edge for optical store owners. From an improved capture rate to less of a wait time, to increased patient throughput, this particular piece of optometry equipment has disrupted an industry that has had the same technology since the late 19th century.

Offices and Corporate Wellness Programs

According to Fast Company, corporate wellness programs are currently an $8 billion industry in the U.S. and are expected to grow by 7.8% through 2021. Such a lucrative industry is ripe for opportunities, and portable medical technology has been at the center of this industry. Portable autorefractors are one of the ways in which corporate wellness companies can expand their services and take a bigger slice of the pie.

Our portable autorefractor has been used at corporate wellness programs. We have joined forces with some of our partners to conduct vision exams in many corporations including Spotify, Oscar Insurance, Compass, Pager, NYU, and more. Quoting from one of our clients, “All of the feedback we received was positive and many employees were appreciative of the convenience of being able to receive an eye exam in the office”.

Doctor and optical store owner, who have an interest in this market, should look to take advantage of the opportunity by incorporating the Smart Vision Labs portable autorefractor.

Mission Trips, Schools, and Assisted Living

Portable Optometry equipment has always been a core part of eye care mission trips, and a big part of Smart Vision Labs philanthropic ambitions. Whether it be phoropters, tonometers, or autorefractors; mission trips and portable technology go hand in hand. Portable autorefractors have carved out their unique niche in this sector and there is no better feeling than being able to serve more people around the world.

eye care mission trips using a portable autorefractor

The same goes for schools screenings and assisted living medical visits. We conducted vision tests in schools and were beyond inspired by the way our results lit up the faces of those school children. In a recent article, we talk about how important this time is for optometrist as the back to school rush is about to begin. Often the people administering vision tests in schools are not trained professionals and our autorefractors can reduce the margin of error by providing the most accurate objective data so students can concentrate on learning.

Nursing Homes

One of our altruistic partners, Doug Streifel OD, is based out of Denver and provides vision services for nursing homes through his mobile optometry practice. He had this to say about us: “Having a tool that is both lightweight and easy to use gives us the opportunity to bring new and advanced technology to a population who might not get this state-of-the-art care otherwise.”

Nursing home visits for eye care using the SVOne Auotrefractor

Armed Forces and Law Enforcement

The US Armed Forces have many health requirements including good vision. The same parallels for good vision also spill over to law enforcement where vision testing is a requirement during the recruitment process. The armed forces also go on humanitarian trips to test vision and do health check-ups where portable autorefractors are commonplace. The Navy, for example, has optometrists who go on mission trips during their service to conduct vision testing.  

Prisons

Believe it or not, prisons are another place where portable autorefractors have the potential for doctors to increase their business (or improve their practices). One of the things prisoners retain is the right to healthcare. Yet somehow, there is an increasing demand for optometrists in prisons. The Smart Vision Labs portable autorefractor fits perfectly as a complement equipment for optometrists when they go to correctional facilities to conduct vision testing. The speed and accuracy are perfect for situations where you want to be in and out and not spend too much time doing the refraction or rechecking to determine if the results are accurate are not.

Sports

Vision tests are becoming the norm in many sports all over the world. We recently released a clinical study on the “elite” vision of professional baseball players. In the professional leagues, hitting a pitched baseball has been described as one of the most difficult tasks in any sport.

Baseball players, on the other hand, have shown to have visual acuity approaching 20/12 (20/8 is often considered to be the best humanly possible vision). With the help of ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Laby and the SUNY College of Optometry, we conducted a study to prove our hypotheses. During the 2016 Spring Training Season, Dr. Laby tested over 600 MLB players using our handheld wavefront autorefractor, the SVOne. The results of the study showed that the SVOne autorefraction system can successfully measure the small, yet significant, refractive errors in the sample of players that were tested.

Apart from baseball, studies have also been done that link the vision of soccer players to their performance. Imagine the applications of portable autorefractors when it comes to sports like tennis or hockey, where the target object of concern is as small as a baseball. Take a look at the study to learn more about the applications of mobile optometry equipment in sports.

Rural Areas

Mobile and digital healthcare have come a long way to improve the health and living conditions of people in rural America. Imagine living in rural South Carolina where there is only one optometrist for a few thousand people in an area of a few hundred miles. To make your job easier, more efficient, and your practice more profitable, why would you not get portable Optometry equipment for your practice? Whether you have a clinic or a mobile optometry practice, a portable autorefractor like the SVOne can take your business to a whole new level.

As you can see, portable autorefractors and especially the Smart Vision Labs Wavefront Autorefractor, open up opportunities to grow your practice beyond a traditional brick and mortar clinic. This technology truly has the potential to serve the vision care needs of people all over the world, and bring vision care to the most remote areas of this world. We hope you are as inspired and motivated as we are to make vision impairment obsolete.

Get a new autorefractor - Smart Vision Labs


Protect your eyes when looking at the solar eclipse - Smart Vision Labs explains how

How to Safely View the Solar Eclipse

Quite Literally “Blinded by the Light”

Remember growing up when you would always be told to never look directly at the sun without wearing sunglasses? Well, I hope you listened to that advice. There are endless studies proving that eye exposure to direct sunlight can lead to solar retinopathy and serious eye damage. When you expose your eyes to direct sunlight, it burns holes in light-sensitive photoreceptor cells that can cause irreversible damage and even blindness. Think burning leaves using a magnifying glass (or ants if you were that kid growing up…) but only multiple times more intense. With the solar eclipse coming up in about a month, it’s crucial to remember that if you’re planning to watch one of nature’s most incredible phenomena, you must remember to protect your eyes when doing so, at least for the majority of the eclipse. And no – your everyday sunglasses will not suffice in this scenario.

According to NASA and other optometry and ophthalmology organizations, it is okay to look directly at the solar eclipse with the naked eye only when the sun is fully covered by the moon, the moment of a total solar eclipse. For the upcoming eclipse on August 21st, NASA claims that this full coverage will last 2 minutes and 40 seconds. During those moments, the day will turn to night and the sun’s outer atmosphere will be visible with the naked eye. Definitely, something you won’t want to miss. The duration of the partial eclipse is expected to last from 2 to 3 hours and will be visible from all parts of the U.S. The total eclipse, however, will only be visible to those on what’s called the “path of totality”, extending from Oregon to South Carolina. But in order to watch the entire eclipse, you must first know how to view it safely.

3 Options to Safely View the Solar Eclipse

Option 1: Do not – I repeat – do NOT think you can wear your everyday sunglasses to watch this. Instead, wear solar eclipse glasses or use handheld eclipse viewers to ensure full protection. Yes, you’ll look like you just walked out of a 3D movie, but you’re not trying to make a fashion statement here.

Option 2: If you don’t get around to purchasing a pair of eclipse glasses/viewers, consider using what’s called a pinhole projection with your hands. With your back to the sun, spread your fingers apart, and create a crossing pattern with both hands. The small spaces between your fingers will create a projection of images on the ground. During the partial eclipse, you’ll be able to see the sun’s crescent shapes. But again, make sure your back is to the sun. Let me just reemphasize that, this does NOT mean interlocking your fingers and holding them up to look directly at the sun. Let’s try to follow these directions. You’ll thank us later.

screen-shot-2017-07-26-at-10-12-26-am screen-shot-2017-07-26-at-10-04-55-am

Option 3: Use a solar eclipse lens or filter over your camera, binoculars, or telescope. Looking directly through one of these devices without a solar lens/filter will result in eye damage. In fact, they actually even further magnify the light rays on the retina and can lead to worse damage than just looking at the eclipse with your naked eye. Let’s try to avoid that.

How to view the solar eclipse and what not to do - Smart Vision Labs

Whichever option you choose, make sure to follow this advice to protect your eyes. In the U.S., this is the first solar eclipse since 1257 that has only touched American soil. But if you’re looking to travel, total solar eclipses occur about every 18 months around the world. So be sure to follow these safety tips to make sure that your eyes will be healthy and fully prepared to watch the next one.

Issy Bonebrake is a born-again New Yorker living down in the Village. She considers herself to be a self-proclaimed, cautiously optimistic futurist. As a classic rock aficionado, she enjoys binge watching rockumentaries from the coziness of her less than 500 square footage apartment. Issy is remarkably unenthused by space phenomena.

Related Posts
Shun the Sun: Stop the UV Rays
Healthy Vision and UV Awareness Month


How to ensure a new technology implementation is successful - Smart Vision Labs

Four Factors to a Successful Enterprise Technology Implementation

Something that is revolutionary for the rest of the world may not necessarily be the best option for you or your organization. You may decide to buy a new machine to make better lenses, but it turns out it is not simple to use and the time wasted could have been spent on acquiring a new customer. The same thing can be said for new technologies and their implementation in an organization.

However, what people fail to realize is that the new technology implementation often fails because of the miscalculations of the organization. Technology is meant to aid people and complement their daily activities and it is only as good as the people using it. Smart Vision Labs has deduced four factors that contribute to the success of new technology and its enterprise adoption in an organization.

1 – Make Sure the Technology Solution Is Aligned with Your Company’s Plan and People

One way new technology can add value is by aligning it to company goals and objectives. Not only should it be a driver of profits and revenue, it should also benefit the people handling it as well. It should be simple enough to get the job done, achieve great results while making life easier for anyone interacting with it. That “anyone” could range from the CEO to the customer. By making sure that the technology is a good fit for your company, you essentially relieve yourself of many problems including time-consuming firefights, sunk cost, and a waste of resources- if and when the project fails.

One of our earlier clients is a great example of this idea. They have monthly revenue goals which their individual stores are budgeted to hit and their CEO drives this metric down to each individual team member. Our telemedicine platform fit their goals perfectly! The opticians and sales people using it found it effortlessly simple and we helped them increase their capture rate on an individual store level, which lead to even higher revenues and an ROI of 880%!

2 – Understand the Technology

Once you have verified that the technology will be a good fit for the company, it’s time to dive deeper and understand the technology. At this stage, the initial pilot is crucial to ensure its success. By working with the technology provider, the organization should be prepared for any initial uncertainty, commit to training, start identifying kinks in the system, and create processes for analysis and constant feedback. Working with the vendor is vital at this stage. The most innovative technology providers will work closely with the buyer to ensure that the implementation is successful, thus leading to a successful rollout.

One of our partners understood this concept and has excelled because of the time they took to embrace and understand the nooks and crannies of our technology. They launched a pilot and took steps to ensure that everything was recorded and every uncertainty accounted for. Feedback and collaboration worked out to make the implementation a complete success.

An Optical Industry Case Study

A company who has truly embraced technology is Mykita. Mykita is a German manufacturer of hand-crafted prescription frames and glasses. They use acetate, stainless steel, and a unique material called Mylon by employing a 3D printing process called Selective Laser Sintering. Technology is a core part of their design and their success shows it! Because of their design philosophy, they were profitable since their second year and are now in stores all over the world, including Washington DC and New York. Since their inception, they have racked up influencers like Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, who have embraced their tech savvy designs. This leads us to our next factor: have influencers for your technology.

stanley-tucci-joshua-transformers-age-of-extinction-mykita-mylon-pandara-glasses
Stanley Tucci wearing Mykita Mylon in Transformers

3 – Have an Influencer on board

Mark Zuckerberg once said, “Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” A new technology that aligns with the spirit of your company will go even further if it is trusted by the people of your company, and having a person or two to influence that trust is crucial. If it’s a new project based on the new technology, then it should be a strong project manager or leader who takes charge, is exploratory, collaborative, and open to feedback. Given that these people will be the main people communicating up and down the chain of leadership, they will have to command authority. That person will essentially ensure user participation to drive the goals and metrics and will be molding the minds of everyone in the organizations, including the people resisting to accept that the new technology aligns with the company and will drive value. The influencer has to be a truly innovative leader.

A great example of a Smart Vision Labs champion is Vlad from Modern Day Optx. Vlad is an independent optical owner. Even though he is not a part of a large organization, his activities are reminiscent of the points mentioned before. He has internalized all the nuances of our telemedicine solution, he communicates and provide ongoing feedback to improve our product, and makes sure his customers are comfortable with using the technology. He has been able to prove the utilitarian use of our device by vastly improving his capture rate and revenue for his optical store.

screen-shot-2017-07-20-at-5-08-21-pm
Yelp review about Modern Day Optx

4 – Have Fun and be Personal

People are afraid of the unknown and of things they do not understand. Initially, new technology can be intimidating. The trick is to make the technology a personal piece of the lives of the people who are involved with it. Whether it be the CEO, middle-level management, or even the team member on the floor who is pushing to make the daily, weekly, and the monthly sales quota; having fun with the technology is a very important piece of the implementation process. Any company which grasps this factor should have a seamless rollout of the new technology.

How to truly have fun is a question of the organization’s personality. It needs to be worked out between the organization itself and the technology provider. It could be as simple as incentivizing the sales team with gifts when they accomplish a certain usage percentage, to more glamorous things such as throwing a lavish party when they decide to move from the pilot to full enterprise implementation. The end result should always be to inspire the users to embrace the technology.

At Smart Vision Labs, we try to go above and beyond in this category. From sending custom onesies to a partner who had a child, to being with our partners on the floor, celebrating accomplishments with them and making sure that they truly internalize the training; our work is complete when our partners are truly comfortable with our platform. We make sure the education, training, and implementation is a fun experience so everyone is happy to be a Smart Vision Labs optical partner.

An Optical Industry Case Study

Carl Zeiss shook lens manufacturing with their i.Terminal technology. They digitized the tedious and manual process of lens fitting and made the whole experience faster and more accurate. This has led to increased customer satisfaction and improved sales. But the technology has truly been pioneered because of the above mentioned four factors Zeiss had helped foster with their customers. They built a product that provided great value for their customers, the literature and support they provide during the implementation, along with the great customer service, ensured an easy adoption of the technology.

zeiss-iterminal-miracle16-980x308
i. Terminal by Carl Zeiss

A master grasp of these four factors will ensure your organization will have success with a new piece of technology. Effective implementation could be hampered if one or more of the factors are not accounted for. Make sure your team is an important part of the process; take your time to understand why problems happen, and make sure \you have fun when using the technology!

wavefront autorefractor demo - Smart Vision Labs

Related Posts

Essential Equipment for a Modern Optometry Practice
Vision Industry Disruptors!
How to Get your Company on Board with Telemedicine Vision Exams


SVOne Autorefractor from Smart Vision Labs

The Essential Equipment Guide for a Modern Optometry Practice

Essential Equipment for a Modern Optometry Practice

The modern optometry practice is one that has the latest technological advancements, provides the best quality service, and produces a very convenient customer experience at an affordable price. No matter how many lanes you have in your practice, it all boils down to the doctor and the equipment the doctor utilizes. The doctor is hard to change and if you are not a customer centric doctor, then you will need to rethink your strategy. The equipment, however, will provide the best doctors with an increased ability to do an even better job further setting them apart from their competition. Here are the essential tools that your optometry practice could be use to achieve a higher threshold of success.

Get an autorefractor for your eye care practice from Smart Vision Labs

Digital VA System

A digital VA chart is a very popular equipment in contemporary optometry practices and optical stores all over the U.S., and there is good reason why. A comprehensive digital VA chart squeezes in a lot of features and vastly diminishes the footprint in your business, with some even going as far as featuring a lens clarity visualizer tool. A good digital VA chart system will, along with a standard Snellen chart, allow you to randomize the letters, provide charts for different clinical situations including astigmatism, ETDRS, and even the ability to input the distance in between the patient and the screen.

em_screen
VA System by Harvest Acuity

Tonometer

A tonometer conducts eye pressure tests, but to the average person, this machine essentially is the one that blows the puff of air into their eyes. Optometrists, on the other hand, know how crucial this piece of equipment is. Tonometers have come a long way from the days of a schiotz tonometer. There are tonopens, which are the closest in terms of its reminiscence to a schiotz tonometer, an affordable option if you are looking to invest less capital for equipment. Along with that you also have the non-contact tonometers where the person rests their face for the procedure. Whatever equipment you decide to buy, this is essential for any optometry practice.

nt-510
Tonometer by Marco

Fundus Photography Equipment

Breaking it down simply, fundus photography equipment is used to take pictures of the inside of your eyes. Colloquially called a fundus camera, these imaging pieces of equipment are common for most ophthalmic equipment manufacturers and they usually take up a big footprint in your office because of the desktop based design of the equipment. However, in recent years a variety of inexpensive equipment options have come out. Ones that can be attached to a high-resolution digital camera or a camera in a smartphone for the retinal imaging. Although, the efficacy and accuracy of these more inexpensive alternatives are still debated.

screen-shot-2017-07-17-at-6-42-22-pm
Welch Allen iExaminer

OCT Imaging Equipment

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) equipment is what is used for taking images of the retina. The advantage of this equipment is you can really dig deep into what problems the eyes can be having and even detect the early onset of various eye diseases and conditions. This is one piece of equipment that should be there in your practice if you decide to expand the medical scope of your practice.

An OCT Machine
OCT Machine

Autorefractors

An autorefractor is the optimal tool to measure the refractive index of the eye. Whether you have a full fledged practice with the most cutting edge ophthalmic instruments or a mobile optometry clinic, an autorefractor will ensure the most convenient customer service while maintaining a superlative standard of care. The best way to go is to purchase a handheld autorefractor. The Smart Vision Labs wavefront autorefractor is currently the most affordable and portable piece of optometry equipment, and there are clinical studies to validate the efficacy of the equipment on a variety of ages and populations.

An autorefractor is the best addition to have in your lane, along with your phoropter, because of the rapid throughput it provides. With the Smart Vision Labs autorefractor expect rapid results with incredible accuracy.

SVOne Enterprise from Smart Vision Labs

As your practice grows over time, you will be adding equipment slowly. An investment in the equipment becomes more than just a capital investment as it aids in providing a better user experience for the customer. A combination of these pieces of equipment will certainly make your practice stand out.

Related Posts

For MLB Players, 20/20 Vision Just Isn’t Enough
Opportunity Tip: Mobile Optometry Practices for Nursing Homes

 

 


back to school vision testing - Smart Vision Labs

A Successful School Year Begins with a Proper Vision Screening

For both parents and children, back-to-school season can be a bittersweet time of the year. Those peaceful end of July/August evenings blissfully leads you into the start of a brand new school year. But unfortunately, before you know it the first day of school is suddenly this upcoming Monday. How did that happen? You’ve been sitting around watching the news on Sunday evenings only to be interrupted every 15 minutes by a Staples or Target advert reminding you to get your back-to-school shopping done while the sales still last. And on top of that you’ve been receiving bi-weekly letters from your children’s schools reminding you to get them to the doctor’s office for their yearly physicals, dental checkups, and – most importantly, of course – their vision exams, so nothing will stand in the way of their learning. But did you actually remember to do any of that yet? Well, if you’re anything like my parents were, chances are you didn’t and the last weekday before the start of the school year is a chaos-ridden extravaganza, consisting of having just about every back-to-school errand known to mankind to do in just that one day. But what if I were to tell you that you could enjoy the end of your summer, and still get at least one of those tasks – obviously the most important one – checked off your to-do list? (Hint: it’s the vision exam – big surprise there).

With the Smart Vision Exam, anyone from the ages of 12 to 65 can get their vision tested in as little as 5 minutes. With no appointment necessary, that maximum 10-minute trip to a Smart Vision Exam site will not cut into any of the time reserved for impatiently waiting for your daughter to make the life-or-death decision over which set of highlighters to buy at Staples. Super important stuff. So with that quick and convenient trip for a vision screening, you will then receive an updated prescription in as little as 24 hours. Might as well even get one for yourself while you’re at it.

Many schools offer in-school vision screenings at the start of the year, the ones I attended included. But often times, the person administering the exam – typically the school nurse – is not a trained professional. The margin of error on an improper vision exam consisting of just reading a snellen chart is remarkably high. This type of in-school screening is in no way a sufficient alternative for a proper vision exam, as in most cases, the person administering the test is not well-equipped to detect the patient’s refractive error. Full disclosure: I went to public school in the early 2000s and perhaps this is just commentary on the fact that my school nurse was one of my classmate’s unqualified grandmothers who had a little too much free-time to offer up. Regardless, I passed the in-school screenings with flying colors. It wasn’t until I received a proper vision exam that I realized I had been walking around for years with a -1.50 error in both eyes. Thanks, Nurse Janet.

in school vision testing - Smart Vision Labs
At developing ages where eyesight is likely to change frequently, getting your vision checked is especially crucial. With the help of Dr. Mark Rosenfield and the SUNY College of Optometry, we conducted a clinical study to test our SVOne autorefractor in its ability to measure refractive error in a pediatric population. The results concluded that the device is more than capable of doing so, and might even be a better option for pediatric patients. The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as other ophthalmological organizations, recommend a handheld autorefractor for measuring such error as, “it is quick, requires minimal cooperation from the child and is especially useful in the preverbal, preliterate, or developmentally delayed child.” The clinical study also reiterates that given that most in-school screenings are performed by school nurses and/or volunteers untrained to perform retinoscopy, handheld autorefraction can be a very valuable and important asset to ensure proper exam results. You don’t say.

Aside from the benefits of accurate vision-screening results, the Smart Vision Exam is perfectly suited for the reluctant-to-go-to-the-doctor’s-office type of child. Another full disclosure: I was that child. Upon my first trip to the optometrist for a proper vision-screening and eye exam, the dilating eye drops, the puff of air test for eye pressure, and even just the overall extremity of the machines in the optometrist’s office gave me some substantial anxiety. And, as is the case for many healthy children, I had no signs pointing towards eye disease and left the office – with remarkably dilated pupils, I might add – only having needed a pair of glasses.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology claims that in the young adult, the rate of development for significant eye disease is very low until the age of 40, at which it then begins to steadily increase. Additionally, they recommend only one comprehensive medical eye exam at some point before reaching the age of 40. A routine comprehensive exam under that age unnecessarily escalates the cost of eye care, when a simple vision screening will more than suffice. So if stuck with an “I refuse to go the doctor” type of child, consider just simply visiting an optical store carrying the Smart Vision Exam, where they will be tested by a device that looks like a glorified iPhone, be in and out in about 5-10 minutes, and you’ll be free of that obligation for a guilt-ridden trip to the ice cream parlor after a doctor’s appointment. Not to mention it’s substantially cheaper than a comprehensive eye exam. Seems like a rather obvious decision.

Before you know it, summer is going to be over, school will resume, and morning commutes to work are going to hampered by yellow school buses’ and their impressive ability to always drive well below the speed limit. Back-to-school errands are already stressful and time-consuming enough. Let the Smart Vision Exam facilitate at least just one of those. Amidst that back-to-school craze, don’t brush aside the importance of vision testing. With our exam, you’ll have plenty of time left to enjoy your last summer days. And if you’re lucky, you might even save yourself some more time for that coveted errand of school-supply shopping.

learn more about telemedicine and how it can increase your optical store's business - Smart Vision Labs

Issy Bonebrake is a born-again New Yorker living down in the Village. She considers herself to be a self-proclaimed, cautiously optimistic futurist. As a classic rock aficionado, she enjoys binge watching rockumentaries from the coziness of her less than 500 square footage apartment. Issy was 8 years old when she realized the remarkable incompetence of in-school vision screenings.

Related Posts

What does it look like to change somebody’s life? Watch.
Now’s the Time to Schedule a Back-to-School Eye Exam for Your Children
Case Study: The Importance of School Vision Screenings
Vision Care for School Children in Omaha
Glasses provide 16-year-old Guatemalan with another chance at an education


Spanish Language Support Now Available for Smart Vision Labs

Breaking Down the Barriers to Vision Care

Breaking Down the Barriers to Vision Care

This week, Smart Vision Labs launched a bilingual option to the telemedicine platform, with the addition of a Spanish version of the vision test. As we continue to expand and as the adoption of our platform steadily increases, we released the bilingual platform to support our Spanish-speaking customers in the United States and our international partners. Far too many people, both those in developing countries and even here in the U.S., are up against barriers preventing them from receiving proper vision care. And here at Smart Vision Labs, we are – figuratively speaking – actively tearing down those barriers.

As of 2016, the U.S. Census reported that the number of native-Spanish speakers in the U.S. reached just over 56 million, making up 17% of our population. And according to an American Community Survey report, 29% of Hispanics say they do not speak English well, and a surprising 18% say they do not speak it at all. Consider that before you spend 4 years in college studying some other foreign language to end up only remembering how to order a drink at a bar. How useful.

The immigrant population is continuing to grow, especially the Spanish-speaking population. With English being far from an easy language to learn, we recognized the importance to adapt to the changing status of our population. With this growing population comes the need for more access to healthcare, and specifically to vision care. The number of people living with uncorrected vision is astounding. Through our own research, we discovered that around 25% of people on the road would fail the DMV vision test. What a reassuring statistic that is… With the release of our Spanish version of the vision exam, we’re hoping that we might begin to mitigate this rather large problem as more people will have easy access to proper vision testing.

But in the grand scheme of things, in the U.S., the Spanish version of the exam will help somewhere between 18-29% of the 56 million Spanish-speakers living here. That’s only roughly 3-5% of the entire U.S. population (18% and 29% multiplied by that 17% above for those not mathematically inclined). So let’s not focus on the potential changes to come to vision care in the U.S., but rather the remarkable, positive changes we foresee in vision correction in South America and other Spanish-speaking countries.

Spanish Speaking Version of Vision Testing App - Smart Vision Labs

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired, and about 90% of those people live in low-income settings. However, over 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured. This means that – in a perfect world – we could reduce visual impairment to 57 million people (more math: 285 times 20%). Now I’m not saying this is likely going to happen. Nonetheless, we’re determined to try.

Let’s take a look at Mexico specifically. Optometry Giving Sight estimates that there are 49 million people in Mexico suffering from vision impairment, many because they simply do not have access to vision exams. Another study, conducted by the Pacific University College of Optometry on a humanitarian mission in Mexico, discovered that 60% of those in the study with visual acuity approaching 20/200 could have improved vision through corrective lenses or glasses. Additionally, 50% of all participants in the study showed visual acuity approaching 20/70, and almost 96% of those were corrected that day with lenses. The fundamental problem with vision care in Mexico is the lack of legislation surrounding it. There is little to no repercussion for inaccurate or poor-quality refracting within the country. And without any recourse or system in place to “quality check”, visual impairment in Mexico is seemingly inevitable.*

This is precisely what we at Smart Vision Labs are trying to change by bringing effective and accurate refracting to the country. With our partnerships, and with the potential to expand substantially thanks to the Spanish version of the exam, we’re confident that we will begin to see the percentage of people in Mexico with corrected vision trending upwards. The census in Mexico estimates that only 5% of citizens speak English. Other sources have pointed towards numbers around 12%. Take from that what you wish. Bottomline is that it’s a very low percentage, so let’s not be pedantic about the exact number.

With the release of the Spanish-language vision exam, we plan to attract an increasingly larger customer-base, those that we were potentially missing before due to language barriers. Additionally, with the convenience of an exam requiring no appointment, we continue to try to eliminate other minor barriers preventing people from receiving vision exams. Going forward we plan to increase the number of languages on our telemedicine platform to provide people all over the world access to our vision exam. So keep an eye out. Who knows, maybe someday those years spent studying a foreign language might just finally come in handy.

Issy Bonebrake is a born-again New Yorker living down in the Village. She considers herself to be a self-proclaimed, cautiously optimistic futurist. As a classic rock aficionado, she enjoys binge watching rockumentaries from the coziness of her less than 500 square footage apartment. Issy spent 5 years studying Italian. It has yet proven to be at all useful to her.

Want to learn more about telemedicine? Request a demo today.

learn more about telemedicine and how it can increase your optical store's business - Smart Vision Labs

Related Posts
Vision Industry Disruptors! International Edition
Don’t Become One of These Vision Statistics
Sports Vision Care and Athletic Success

*OPTOMETRY IN THE AMERICAS, by Janet L. Leasher, OD, MPH, FAAO and Scott Pike, OD

The Refractive Error of Professional Baseball Players

For MLB Players, 20/20 Vision Just Isn't Enough

The Elite Vision of Major League Baseball Players

In the professional leagues, hitting a pitched baseball has been described as one of the most difficult tasks in any sport. A baseball, barely 3 inches in diameter, is pitched at speeds over 90 mph, taking less than half a second to reach the plate. And in that time, the batter must judge the pitched ball and decide if and when to swing, in just milliseconds. It’s not difficult to understand that remarkable level of difficulty. Think about that next time you’re arguing that the Cubs only won the 2016 World Series because of the rain delay.

Generally speaking, baseball players can see with substantially more precision than the average human, with an extraordinary ability to focus on an object. Normal vision for the average person is typically described as being 20/20. Baseball players, on the other hand, have shown to have visual acuity approaching 20/12 (20/8 is often considered to be the best humanly possible vision). Elite vision clearly indicates a profound ability to quickly judge how to successfully hit a pitched ball. Maybe this can shed some light on why Michael Jordan, arguably one of the best athletes of all time, for the life of him could not successfully hit a baseball.

So to those of you normal 20/20-vision people, with the “baseball’s the most boring sport to watch” and the “baseball requires little athleticism” comments, get out and try to hit a professionally-pitched ball before judging a player for whiffing one of Corey Kluber’s pitches.

MLB players have elite vision - Smart Vision LabsWith the help of ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Laby and the SUNY College of Optometry, we conducted a study to prove our hypotheses. During the 2016 Spring Training Season, Dr. Laby tested over 600 MLB players using our handheld wavefront autorefractor, the SVOne. The results of the study showed that the SVOne autorefraction system can successfully measure the small, yet significant, refractive errors in the sample of players that were tested. In general, almost all of these athletes are clinically proven to have little to no error in refraction, which differentiates them from the general population and consequently leads to their profound ability at hitting a baseball

The results of the exam did conclude, in fact, that baseball players tend to have visual acuity around 20/12, meaning that a baseball player can see from 20 feet away what the average person can see from only 12. And for those demonstrating slight refractive error, if left uncorrected, it could decrease vision to at least 20/20, likely making them inadequate at batting at a similar level to most MLB players.

But I’m not saying that almost all baseball players naturally have vision better than 20/20. In fact, Laby estimates that up to 20% of MLB players wear corrective lenses when playing. And players with 20/20 vision are increasingly wearing lenses to achieve this level of elite vision that so many of their teammates naturally have.

So imagine when scouting players, you can use Smart Vision Labs’ portable autorefractor to conduct vision tests. You potentially might find that a player with tremendous potential has a slight refractive error, and given even the slightest correction, it could be the difference between this rookie batting an average of .260 versus a .300.

Only about 5% of minor league players end up making it to the major leagues. By being able to accurately detect any slight refractive error and subsequently correct for that error, players are then competing for the few major-league spots on an even playing field. And even if you still don’t end up making it – just blame it on your subpar, natural 20/20 vision. Or maybe even use that “rain delay” excuse.

Like I said, hitting a baseball requires being able to judge the rotation of the ball – coming at you around 90 mph – standing 60.5 feet away. In the milliseconds it takes to reach the plate, the batter has to process what he sees and then decide how to effectively swing. The quicker the batter can identify the type of pitch thrown, the more time they have to prepare for their swing – hitting earlier on a fastball and later on a curveball. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that it just might help to be able to see as best as humanly possible.

Some MLB players have vision better than 20/12. Take Red Sox second-baseman Dustin Pedroia, for example. In his book, he wrote that his vision is “something like 20/10” – although that’s really not much of a surprise. And as if people don’t already love to gather ammunition about Yankees players, retired player Kevin Youkilis has been said to have 20/11 vision. Evidently, above-average visual acuity is essential to succeed in baseball.

So whether you’re a major-leaguer looking to improve your batting average, a minor-leaguer looking to land one of those few major league spots, or maybe you’re just someone hoping for a career in professional sports, why not ensure you’re giving yourself the best chances at successfully hitting a ball and, on a larger scale, improving your overall hand-eye coordination? With the SVL exam, you can check for these potentially minor refractive errors and subsequently correct for them. And who knows, with this newly corrected, elite vision, maybe the Indians will – after almost 70 years – finally again win the World Series.

Issy Bonebrake is a born-again New Yorker living down in the Village. She considers herself to be a self-proclaimed, cautiously optimistic futurist. As a classic rock aficionado, she enjoys binge watching rockumentaries from the coziness of her less than 500 square footage apartment. Ironically, Issy is a Cleveland Indians fan and actively asserts that the 10th inning rain delay is why they lost the 2016 World Series.

Get a new autorefractor - Smart Vision Labs

Related Post

New Study reveals the SVOne Autorefractor successfully measures the small yet significant refractive errors of professional baseball players