Optometrist: New Contact Lens Prescription App Could “Harm the Public”


The iPhone app is similar to Opternative, but is only operating in nine states so far.

Writing for the Optometry Times, optometrist Justin Bazan says that a new iPhone app called Simple Contacts that promises to deliver a prescription “in just five minutes” has “the potential to do the public harm.”

To use the app, the user must answer a few questions about their medical history and then, allow the app to capture a short video of his or her eyes as a proof of good eye health (no "red eye"). The customer is then asked to take a visual acuity test while standing 10 feet away from their device to read a chart. After this step, the user can select the lenses they would like and the number of boxes they need. They are asked to include current prescription information by looking at their most-recently purchased contact lens boxes. After Simple Contacts’ ophthalmologist approves the prescription renewal, the lenses are shipped within 24 hours.

Pointedly using the word "customer" rather than "patient" in his post, Bazan warns that the app only meets two of the 10 elements that the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Preferred Practice Pattern (PPP) considers a comprehensive eye exam. Concludes Bazan: “Disruptive technologies are here, and they are going to change the way we conduct business. But this particular business model does not allow for accepted standards of eye care, nor does it provide for the most critical component of an eye exam, the evaluation of the patient’s ocular health. And for that reason it has the potential to do the public harm.”

So far, the app is operating in just nine states: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Read more at Optometry Times