A smartphone app, developed in regional New South Wales, that allows independent optometrists to connect with their patients on a new level, is already reaping business rewards, according to the first optometrist
to use it.
Nick Hansen, of Hansen Optometrists Eyecare Plus in Orange, said already about 200 people had downloaded the app, and his patients had used it to purchase contact lenses and schedule appointments.
The app, developed by a Bathurst-based development company Appiwork with input from Mr Hansen, offers advice for patients on protecting their vision.
while a lot of elderly patients don’t have the technology to access the app, “we are building for the future…
Mr Hansen said he promotes the app in his consulting room – helping clients to set up automatic reminders – and showing them features, like information on eye exercises.
“It’s a great tool to help independent optometry compete against the massive amount of marketing by the global optical corporates,” Mr Hansen said.
“Through this app, I have immediate access to my patients and therefore it should have a positive effect on reducing patient drift.”
He said while a lot of elderly patients don’t have the technology to access the app, “we are building for the future”.
Mr Hansen said patients were already making appointments via the app, and ordering contact lenses. “In three or four years, we’d like to have almost every patient on the app,” Mr Hansen said.
Mr Hansen said the app was designed so that parts of it would remain standardised, while other sections would be customised to a particular practice.
Zoe Hida from Appiworks, said the app, which is currently available only through the Apple App Store, will soon be released on Google Play for Android devices.