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Tuesday / May 17.
HomeminewsOptom App Building for the Future

Optom App Building for the Future

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.

Mr Hansen said the app is targeted at existing patients. He promotes the app in his consulting room – helping clients to set up automatic reminders – and showing them features, like information on eye exercises.

The app, developed by a Bathurst-based development company Appiwork with input from Mr Hansen, offers advice for patients on protecting their vision

“it’s a great tool to help independent optometry compete against the massive

amount of marketing” by the global optical corporates, Mr Hansen said.

The app automatically connects to the practice’s Facebook page, so any updates are automatically sent through the app.

“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.

“In a few years’ time everyone will have a (smartphone) or a (tablet device). We should be looking now about how we are going to promote our practice in two years’ time, or five years’ time and move towards that.

It is no use waiting for five years to get into it and then realising that we haven’t been collecting the right data on our patients,” 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, the development company that created the app, said it was “very exciting that an optometry practice in Orange and an app development company in Bathurst can be leading the country in smartphone technology, eye health and vision”.

The app is currently available only through the Apple App Store, but will soon be released on Google Play for Android devices, she said.

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