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    Blink in-home vision test worries ODs


    New York City—EyeNetra's new sevice called Blink has begun offering at-home, on-demand vision tests in New York City.


    How it works

    Blink offers appointments seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The company will come to a patient’s home and perform the testing in about 20 minutes. The test costs $75 and is performed by a “visioneer,” not an optometrist.

    “We’ve shrunk a bunch of equipment that used to fill up an optometrist’s office into a briefcase,” says Blink co-founder David Schafran, who is also part of the team behind EyeNetra, a company that creates smartphone-based refractive tools. Mr. Schafran spoke exclusively to Optometry Times.

    Click here to check out the tools Blink uses during in-home tests

    Blink visioneers use a variety of tools created by EyeNetra during an in-home vision test. Those tools include:

    • Netra, which acts as an autorefractor, but utilizes a smartphone

    • Netrometer, which acts as a lensometer, but also utilizes a smartphone

    • Netropter, which acts as a phoropter

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    According to the company, an optometrist will remotely supervise and review the data collected by the visioneer—including the patient’s eye health and medical history and lifestyle and vision needs. If the OD confirms the prescription, Blink will send the patient a digital prescription for glasses within 24 hours. Blink does not provide a contact lens prescription.

    Visioneers are background-checked and must undergo training that was designed with the help of optometrists. Their role is to collect the information and provide good customer service.

    “They’re not optometrists—it’s not their job to analyze or interpret any information, it’s about collecting information,” says Schafran.

    Blink is currently available only in certain neighborhoods in New York City, but the company has plans to expand further into New York City and other major cities in the U.S. 

    Currently Blink is not covered by any vision plans, but Schafran says the company plans to pursue vision plan coverage. VSP Vision Care President Jim McGrann has joined EyeNetras’s Board of Directors. 

    Next: Not a comprehensive eye exam

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...

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    • StewartGooderman
      I don't know how any practitioner in his right mind would sign off on this, even with informed consent. The courts have ruled that when you acquire a patient you are responsible for their eye health. So even if the patient signed off on the exclusion, if the patient has, say glaucoma and loses vision, if it goes to court, the patient will say he/she didn't understand what he/she was signing, and the jury will find the practitioner culpable. It's happened before, it will happen now. There was a case many years ago where a man went into a commercial optometric office wanting a contact lens fitting, refusing any and all health testing. There was underlying disease, with subsequent vision loss, and the patient sued the doctor. On the stand the patient admitted freely that he had demanded that the health testing not be done and had it been done he would't have lost his vision. Guess who won? The patient, of course! BECAUSE IT WAS THE PRACTITIONER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO SAY NO, HE WILL NOT PERFORM WHAT THE PATIENT WANTED KNOWING FULL WELL THAT HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PATIENT'S WELL BEING ONCE HE BEGINS PROVIDING SERVICES! Again, any Optometrist who signs on to this is truly out of their minds.

    Optometry Times A/V