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Going Mobile: Here’s How to Meet Patients Where They Live

This Florida startup’s mobile eyecare clinics tap a neglected niche — facility-bound seniors and their caregivers.




Going Mobile: Here’s How to Meet Patients Where They Live

FLORIDA STARTUP MOBILEOPTIX launched what it calls its “fully equipped vision care practice on wheels” last year to provide long-term care patients with the kind of access to eyecare and eyewear they often go without due to lack of mobility. The company’s fleet of self-contained clinics caters to nursing homes — where MobileOptiX’s ECPs examine and treat both patients and care providers — and events across central Florida. INVISION spoke to MobileOptiX CEO Rob Cash about how the idea to explore this underserved niche developed, and it’s a conversation we think has implications for any eyecare practice looking to step out from behind the bricks and mortar and meet less-mobile patients where they live.


At his previous job with a large podiatry practice, Cash was part of a team that developed a Performance Improvement Plan focusing on fall risk within skilled nursing homes. The report’s prominent finding pointed to poor prescription quality eyeglasses —and gave Cash an idea. He spotted an opening for a company that could provide nursing homes and similar facilities with access to eye exams and affordable prescription eyeglasses. MobileOptiX hit the road in 2022 serving Tampa and is now making good on its goal of offering full-spectrum optometry and ophthalmology services across central Florida.

Going Mobile: Here’s How to Meet Patients Where They Live

The mobile clinics maintain similar equipment to technologically advanced brick-and-mortar practices.


The clinics are set up within Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans. According to Cash, “These very agile vehicles are equipped with numerous safety features. To enhance the driver’s capability and safety, a proprietary camera system is installed that continuously monitors every angle.”

MobileOptiX’s patients are seniors and their caregivers, with care delivered in communities and at healthcare delivery institutions. “Our Medicare Advantage Plan partners are very engaged in our clinical care delivery and marketing events,” says Cash.

The mobile clinics maintain similar equipment to technologically advanced brick-and-mortar optometric practices, with the number of ECPs staffing a particular vehicle depending on patient volume. Products and services offered include diagnostic testing; ophthalmic exams and refraction; treatment of some ocular diseases; vision screening; and retail eyewear. Appropriate referrals for additional care are also made as needed. The vans also utilize air purification technology to provide an infection-controlled examination environment. He adds that certain markets can present staffing challenges. To address this, MobileOptiX recently implemented the OpTech tuition reimbursement program, and provides reimbursement for passing the IJCAHPO certification exam.

Going Mobile: Here’s How to Meet Patients Where They Live


Catering to a population that is less mobile brings its own set of challenges, but the rewards are commensurate, says Cash. “Professional, financial, and logistical challenges are everywhere when you take that step off the traditional path,” he says. “As challenging as it has been, our pursuit has been purposeful from day one: To conveniently provide eye exams and prescription eyeglasses to the most fragile population.”

Do It Yourself: Serve Less Mobile Patient Populations

  • START SIMPLE. “Seniors love technology. Introduce virtual try-on (VTO) at your next bingo outing and see what happens,” says Cash.
  • HANDLE WITH CARE. Consider the “height, weight, mobility, frailty, cognition, and presence of any comorbidities” for each and every patient, Cash says.
  • KICK THE TIRES. Many mobile clinic vehicle makers can be found online but be sure to do your due diligence before entering any agreements.
  • TOP RESOURCE. Check out the Mobile Healthcare Association
  • PARTNER UP. Find an eyewear vendor who might be interested in a deal linked to services you provide at events or homes for seniors.

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at


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