Optical Academy launches mobile eye care service

Abby Ayoub

Abby Ayoub

Optical Academy is seeking investments from entrepreneurs and eye care providers interested in offering mobile eye care and eye wear franchises in local communities.

The organization said in a press release that it conducted 7 years of market research and development before inviting investors.

Optical Academy mobile eye care vans provide eye exams and eye wear from ophthalmologists and optometrists directly to children, teachers and employees at their schools or workplaces. According to a press release from the company, 70% of children who fail a vision screening never get follow-up care by an eye care professional, and 60% of employees who have a vision plan never utilize their benefits.

Primary Care Optometry News spoke with Optical Academy CEO Abby Ayoub about these mobile eye care franchises and what investors and patients can expect from them.

 

PCON: What is the Optical Academy’s mission with these mobile eye care and eye wear franchises?

Ayoub: Our main mission is to provide quality, affordable eye care and eye wear at school sites and work sites in these communities. Basically, we want to be able to unload, go inside the facility and see children, adults and the elderly, all on-site in the comfort of their own environment.

PCON: Who will be conducting these eye exams?

Ayoub: Right now, it’s optometrists who go on site, and we are hoping to attract ophthalmologists and opticians as well. The three “O’s” is where our target market is. Opticians would have to partner with an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, but to maintain the doctor-patient relationship, eye care professionals must perform the comprehensive eye exams or the contact lens exams. Anything that arises on-site such as accessories, computer glasses or readers, goes back to the doctor’s office for follow-up care. Any pathology that we’re seeing or necessary follow-up care or treatment or surgery goes back to the office. Any additional eye wear could be done online, but most is chosen on-site.

PCON: How extensive will these exams be, and what type of equipment will these vans be equipped with?

Ayoub: Digital refraction is offered, and we have retinal cameras for fundus imaging. For 7 years we’ve been perfecting this production line system where the last piece is the doctor. Technicians are doing a lot of the work prior. Our mobile units are really designed to be an office. You can be in one site one day then load up and go to another site another day.

It’s designed for quality care. You do the on-site work with the refraction, and the contact lens fittings and all the follow-up care goes back to the office. The local doctor who is the franchisee provides care in-office, but they’re funneling where they see their patients. So instead of having a refraction in the exam room during the day, you go to the work site and perform those eye exams for the eye wear they need for their work. Their chart can be shared back in the office. In an emergency, the patient can go back to the office where the record is available.

PCON: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Ayoub: Times have changed. Optical Academy has disrupted an industry. Your patient is either at work or at school during the day, and that’s where eye care professionals need to be. We need to provide quality care at the convenience of patients, because that’s what they’re used to. They’re going online, and the only reason they’re going online is because they don’t have time. By going on-site, you’re able to help the consumer get what they paid for and help them be visually comfortable at work. Additionally, we’re teaching children on smart boards in school now, and some of them are colorblind. There are so many different broken systems, and our job is to get the eye care professionals out there to be the vision voice for the public. – interviewed by Scott Buzby

Disclosure: Ayoub is employed by Optical Academy