With Warby Parker’s new Prescription Check app, you can check your eyesight within an app to get an eyeglass prescription in 24 hours. Eliminate entirely the need to visit a doctor’s office for your next pair of specs. Tech is enabling exciting new developments in telemedicine.
The maker of chic, affordable frames that jolted the retail market is now taking a leap into vision testing software. Warby Parker has been masterful at simplifying the consumer experience for eye glasses. But the hassle of visiting a doctor first for a prescription continues to be a pain point for customers. It is also a business issue that delays sales for Warby Parker. A problem it couldn’t solve – until now.
On the horizon: Look into the app and tell me what you see
The recently launched Prescription Check app has been in the works for about 2 years in the startup’s “R&D” department. Simply put, it is an app that does an at-home vision test using your “equipment.” All that’s required is an iPhone, a computer, 12 feet of space and a copy of your previous prescription. The next time you lose or break your glasses, you have an easy replacement route. After 20+ minutes, you’ll complete your vision test. Within 24 hours, a doctor reviews the results. If there’s no change in eyesight, the user can get an updated prescription. You can use it to purchases glasses from Warby Parker or any other company. If a doctor has determined your vision has changed, you won’t be charged the $40 exam fee and will be referred to a doctor’s office to get the new prescription. Concerned about accuracy? CNN compared the results of a telemedicine eye check to an in-person visit and found that results were similar.
However convenient, the app doesn’t eliminate the need to visit an eye care professional altogether, which Warby Parker puts in bold print at every turn:
“This will measure your refractive error (which helps determine your prescription)—but it isn’t meant to replace a comprehensive eye exam and we aren’t checking your eye health.”
How it works:
To be clear, this isn’t a hassle-free option. It is one that reduces hassle. Even the app’s eligibility quiz can feel like you’re filling out a form from your optometrist. But for those who qualify, this app can eliminate a trip to the doctor’s office for glasses, arguably saving you time and money. Yet, the American Optometric Association has issued a strongly worded statement condemning app-based eye exams:
“An online eye test does not completely cover any one of the 12 components of a regular in-person, comprehensive eye exam.”
For those who seek Warby Parker’s partial exam, you must determine eligibility first. Before downloading the app, take a quiz to see if you pass the the initial prerequisites for participation.
In a nutshell, 2 main criteria must be met are:
[list][item icon=”icon-check”]Customers must be between the ages of 18 and 40, as complex eye conditions are more common above that age range.[/item][/list] [list][item icon=”icon-check”]You must reside in certain states. Many states have laws that restrict telemedicine services. As a result, online eye exams are only offered to customers in a (growing) number of states including California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, New York and others.[/item][/list]
If you pass the initial screen, you are then asked to download and open the Prescription Check app and watch a quick video about the process.
What you’ll need:
- Current pair eye glasses
- Credit card
- 12 feet of space
- Warby Parker account
- 20+ minutes
- Most recent eye glass prescription
Eligible customers pay $40 for the exam. You are also asked to upload your current prescription (a photo will suffice). The you begin a series of vision-image tests that are delivered to an eye doctor, who determines your prescription.
For early “eye”dopters:
Prescription Check is available in the iTunes app store only and not available for Android devices. If you are looking for a prescription for contacts lenses and eye glasses, check out the app by Opternative. The app’s interactive test takes less than 10 minutes. An ophthalmologist will determine and issue an appropriate prescription for contacts and glasses or provide other clinical guidance. Neither companies accept insurance, though you may be able to apply the cost against your deductible.