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DO YOU NEED AN APP FOR THAT?
Respondents to Optometric Office’s recent survey were almost split down the middle regarding the use of mobile apps in their practice. One of the main reasons why optometrists said they weren’t utilizing this technology was they weren’t sure what is available. While there are many “fun” apps about optic

al geared toward consumers, there is also a sufficient amount being developed to help optometrists work more efficiently. One valuable use for apps is utilizing iPad apps to educate patients—it’s convenient for the practitioner and there’s a definite “cool” factor perceived by the patient. Below is a closer look at what some of your colleagues had to say regarding why they are or are not using apps along with some of their recommended apps.

Briefly explain why you have or have not incorporated the use of mobile apps in your practice routine?

“Don’t have time.”

“Don’t know what apps are available I could use an app with a Snellen letter or object which can be changed in size and then labeled with the corresponding Snellen size at 20 feet. Would be great for kids, home visits, health fairs, etc.”

“Don’t see value.”

“Many of the apps I use demonstrate the condition or conditions for a patient. I also enjoy my apps that are used in situations where normal testing is impossible.”

“Lack of awareness about what’s available.”

“I’m still awaiting a more usable product.”

“I use them for quick references, such as Rx lookup, CL parameters, and ICD coding.”

“Easy to use and shows that our practice is up to date.”

“I have used apps as a very convenient way to access information. Doing a quick vertex conversion or cross cyl calculation is pretty easy with the right app. Access drug info is also very convenient. There are some many Rx’s now, I can’t possibly remember everything about everyone.”

“Why would I! They have no appeal or application that would interest me at all.”

“Not sure what is available for eyecare.”

“The ease of using mobile apps while the patient is in the exam chair makes them very efficient and practical. The patient is also impressed to see the doctor up to date with the latest technology. Pulling out my iPad to calculate a contact lens or to show patients their fundus photo is such a big ‘wow’ factor in my practice.”

“I haven’t looked into them at this point in time.”

“I don’t see what advantage a mobile app can contribute to my practice routine.”

“Mobile apps have allowed me to remove books from my exam room.”

“Do not know the application of how it would benefit me, the business, or the patients.”

“We are nearly ready to upgrade to a Meaningful Use of our EHR on a secure cloud. This will allow us to do so much on iPad, iPhone, or other mobile devices. We are already talking about (and have implemented somewhat) dispensing techniques that will not only aid the patient but be fun for both the patient and staff! Who knows what a great selling point it might be if we can show the patients the look on their face when we video (with their permission of course!) a dispense of their first electronic progressive?!”

“Not sure how to do this.”

“Only use my phone apps when full computer is not available.”

“Mobility decreases the cost of replication in a multiple clinic practice.”

“Don’t understand new technology.”

“We always strive to stay ahead of the curve with technology in our practice. We are always looking at ways to ‘wow’ our patients and mobile apps are just the next step for that.”

“I use several apps regularly. I always have my iPhone with me, so it is very convenient.”

“Did not know any existed.”

“Not appropriate for the demographic of our office.”

Which eyecare apps are your favorite and why?

“I do use Epocrates and Eye Handbook all the time, Educus sometimes.”

“EyeDock is great CL reference and Epocrates is great drug reference.”

“I do use Epocrates to look up information about drugs.”

“Epocrates because I never have to use the PDR again, ARUP for lab testing that is not done frequently, Eye Handbook for portability, vision simulator for demo purposes.”

“ePrescribe and Epocrates.”

“EyeDock and Epocrates.”

“Epocrates is a great tool to look up systemic medications that the patients are taking. We do a complete health history and I often need to look up the spelling of medicines and their indications.”

“I am currently using two apps. Epocrates is a PDR replacement. The other is a color vision test.”

“Finding out drug adverse reactions in Epocrates is the most common use. I also use an over-refraction app for toric contact lens calculations.”

“Eye Handbook and Epocrates and Educus ICD-9.”

“Epocrates drug information lookup—can easily pull out phone and look up dosages and interactions and reactions and cost and discuss with patient.”

“Currently I have had the most fun with Silhouette’s App for ‘virtual frame and lens shape fitting!’…I can take a picture of someone with my phone and show them how different styles look on them! That kind of app has the potential of expanding the walls of my clinic to the privacy of the patient’s own home. (I haven’t done it but it might bring some comedy to the fitting process if you used the FatMyFace App too!)”

“ODWire.org.”

“Eye Handbook, CL Calcs, EyeDock, and Medscape.”

“The Optical Tool app has quick optical calculations…and iPrescribe is easy Internet to pharmacy Rxing.”

“Eyemaginations for the iPad is a great educational tool to use in the exam lane or have people watch videos as they wait.”

“Epocrates is well organized, accurate, and updated regularly; and EyeDock is easy to navigate.”

“Testings app due to more objective.”

“Eye Handbook, UMMC, ICDS Consult, Skyscape, EZ Eyecare, and ODwire.org. In feel that I get a little from each of these sites and nothing from only one.”

“EyeDock—quick contact lens parameter reference, also gives retail pricing of common ophthalmic meds.”

(For more optometric apps, click on March’s “Need Help Connecting with Patients?” on OptometricOffice.com.)

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