For Healthy Vision: 6 Emerging Trends in Optometry


  • May is Healthy Vision Month and offers an excellent opportunity to explore emerging trends and update patients on the latest ocular health technologies.
  • Significant strides have been made in tech-based optometry interventions, including teleoptometry, AI-based diagnoses, and smart contact lenses. 
  • Optometry treatments are also becoming increasingly personalized and tailored to manage eye health problems caused by modern lifestyle issues like excessive use of digital devices. 
  • Cloud-based practice management tools can help you implement these trending treatments in your practice.

May is the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) Healthy Vision Month, the ideal time for optometrists to explore emerging trends and the latest research related to healthy vision. Staying informed about the current research findings can help you provide comprehensive care to your patients and improve their eye health outcomes.

1. Teleoptometry

Teleoptometry, which uses technology to provide remote eye exams and consultations, has gained significant traction recently. This innovative approach to optometry can be effective in rural areas where access to optometrists is limited.

A 2022 study found that telemedicine is an effective and reliable method for remote screening of diabetic retinopathy, a common eye disease that can lead to vision loss.

The study showed that teleoptometry could detect diabetic retinopathy with a high level of accuracy; up to 93.03% of patients had a gradable quality fundus photo for analysis. This finding supports the growing use of teleoptometry as a valuable tool for improving access to eye care and early detection of eye diseases, especially in underserved communities with limited access to eye care providers.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a game changer in optometry, as it can assist in more accurate diagnoses and improved patient outcomes. AI-powered tools and software can analyze data from eye exams, medical records, and imaging studies to provide faster, more accurate diagnoses of eye diseases.

A 2021 review found that AI systems could accurately detect glaucoma progression by analyzing optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. The system achieved high levels of sensitivity and specificity, outperforming traditional methods used by human clinicians.

The study suggests that AI can be a reliable tool for managing glaucoma, enabling early disease progression detection and improving patient outcomes. This research highlights the growing potential of AI in optometry, which can assist clinicians in providing accurate and efficient patient care.

placing a contact lense

3. Smart Contact Lenses

Smart contact lenses are a rapidly emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize the way optometrists monitor and manage eye health. These contact lenses contain embedded sensors that can track various metrics, such as glucose levels in diabetic patients and intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma.

Additionally, smart contact lenses are being developed with augmented reality capabilities, providing patients with a unique and immersive experience.

A 2020 study reported the successful development of a smart contact lens that could monitor glucose levels in tears with high accuracy, making it a promising tool for diabetes management.

A 2023 article highlighted the development of a smart contact lens with transparent MXene film that provides thermal therapy to alleviate ocular diseases, such as retinopathy, myopia, tissue hyperemia, and rehabilitation after eye surgery. The lens also features antibacterial and moisturizing properties that can reduce the risk of bacterial infection and laser damage.

4. Myopia Management

According to the American Optometric Association, myopia affects approximately 30% of the U.S. population, and myopia rates are increasing rapidly, particularly among children. Myopia management strategies aim to slow the condition’s progression and reduce the risk of complications such as retinal detachment and glaucoma. One such strategy is using multifocal contact lenses, which have been shown to slow myopia progression in children.

A 2022 multicenter study found that children wearing dual-focused soft contact lenses had significantly slower myopia progression than those wearing single-vision lenses.

man sitting on a couch with a tablet

5. Blue Light Protection

American adults spend an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes using the internet and another 3 hours and 20 minutes watching television daily. The excessive use of digital devices raises concerns about the potential harm caused by prolonged exposure to blue light. Blue light protection has become a focus in the eyewear industry, with the development of specialized lenses and coatings that filter out blue light.

A 2020 pilot study found that blue light filtering lenses can reduce the effects of digital eye strain, including headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and eye fatigue. This research highlights the importance of blue light protection in preserving eye health in the digital age.

6. Personalized Medicine

Advances in genetic testing and personalized medicine are making it possible to tailor treatments for patients based on their unique genetic makeup and other individual factors. Personalized medicine in optometry is a promising field that can lead to better patient outcomes.

According to a 2022 article in Experimental Eye Research, omics technologies and systems genomics can identify the functional consequences and downstream effects of genetic variants associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Single cell sequencing revealed that candidate AMD genes are expressed in various retinal and choroidal cell types. The article also highlights the use of expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) studies and protein quantitative trait locus (pQTL) studies to pinpoint causal genes in AMD.

A 2020 study on personalized glaucoma coaching found that participants enrolled in the Support, Educate, Empower (SEE) glaucoma coaching program had an 81.3% adherence rate to medication protocols. This is an increase from 59.9% at the beginning of the program.

RevolutionEHR Makes it Easier to Care for Your Patients

The efficiency of your optometry practice management software impacts the level of care you provide to your optometry patients. RevolutionEHR has multiple cloud-based features that enable optometrists to deliver top-quality care.

With anywhere, anytime accessibility, you and your staff can access and manage patient data and appointment schedules and streamline workflows for more time with patients.

RevolutionEHR includes online scheduling that allows patients to schedule appointments conveniently, reducing the need for phone calls and long wait times. With patient communication tools like RevConnect, your practice can send automated appointment reminders and follow-up messages, ensuring patients remain engaged with their care.

With RevolutionEHR’s built-in SmartFlow feature, you can provide more tailored care to your patients. This system lets you partner with vision product suppliers to provide specialty eyewear and ensure they receive timely prescription items.

RevolutionEHR also offers automatic insurance and billing features that automatically verify insurance coverage, submit claims, and process payments. Streamlined documentation and compliance tools make it easy for your practice to stay compliant with industry regulations and CPT codes, including codes for teleoptometry.

See RevolutionEHR in Action

If you’re ready to see how RevolutionEHR’s cloud-based optometry EHR can revolutionize your practice and give you the freedom to focus on patient care, schedule a demo with a RevolutionEHR Specialist today.

join the revolution