A Melbourne based software platform, that puts the patient at the centre of their eye care and provides optometry practices with workplace training and workflow efficiencies, is ready to be rolled out to optometry.
myeyes, developed by optometrist Jim Papas, plugs into existing practice management systems to offer an extensive selection of subscription-based modules they can pick and choose from, as required.
The modules essentially map a patient’s entire eye care journey within a practice, beginning with online booking and a pre-clinical eye health check that warns optometrists of any issues of concern. Dispensing tools such as facial analysers and style consultations, education on spectacle and contact lenses, transparent pricing and after sales follow-up enable patient support and education. Staff training, customer surveys and analytics are also in the mix, as is telehealth.
The platform, which has been tried and tested in several independent optometry practices, including Mr Papas’ own, was recognised in 2017 with an Australian Government development grant and over 13 national awards for customer service and innovation.
INTEGRATING WITH DIGITAL HEALTH
Mr Papas sees a patient-centred digital health environment as the future and says his platform is ready to integrate with existing platforms and any that will be developed in coming years.
“myeyes is ideally positioned to assist providers and work closely with existing practice management systems to make it as efficient as possible to deliver personalised, preventative eye care to assist in proactive
patient management,” Mr Papas told mivision. “We have the vision on how this can be delivered in the future,” he added.
Ultimately he says, when the Federal Government’s MyHealth Record (MHR) includes optometry, his platform will be able to slot right in. However, that will also require MHR to gain the trust of medical practitioners and the public alike, something Mr Papas believes will eventually occur.
“What we have seen is that patients will opt-in to digital health technology where there is a clear benefit, convenience and they are engaged in the right way,” said Mr Papas.
“However, it requires the health care industry to embrace and uptake the changes ahead by adapting to new ways of delivering eye care and using new business models… Governments need to work together and support the health care providers in order to facilitate the change to a preventative and proactive management model of care. Digital health reimbursement by Government needs to have economic evaluation, balancing the extra costs of the health care program relative to the extra benefits as these new technologies are realised.”
Despite the upfront cost required to build a digital health environment, Mr Papas says “ultimately, a digital health environment can reduce the cost burden on the health system and, in the case of eye care, prevent vision loss.”