Essilor to Launch a Mobile App to Inform Consumers About Eye Health and Encourage Eye Exams

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LAS VEGAS— Essilor of America announced yesterday that it is launching a mobile application that addresses what the company sees as a rising demand by consumers for timely, reliable eyecare information online. Once launched, the AskAboutEyes app will help consumers find relevant information on individual issues or concerns about their eyes prior to visiting their eyecare practitioner (ECP).

Although only 3.5 percent of eyewear is purchased online today, nearly 40 percent of consumers reportedly search the web for information prior to visiting an eyecare practitioner, according to Essilor. Because of the specialized nature of eyecare, there are few trusted and credible options for consumers seeking information on vision and vision correction, even among traditional medical resource websites.

“We at Essilor know that a trained eyecare practitioner is the only way to get accurate recommendations for vision correction options, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of any eye condition or disease, but we also recognize that many consumers like to feel informed and prepared before meeting with an eyecare professional,” said Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, Dipl., senior vice president customer development, Essilor of America. “The AskAboutEyes app will allow consumers to easily learn more about their options in a convenient way, while helping them find a practitioner who can deliver the expertise they need when making these important healthcare decisions.”

Speaking at a news conference here yesterday, Purcell said AskAboutEyes “will provide an opportunity, 24/7, 365, for consumers to access information about eyewear and eyecare.”

AskAboutEyes will be available as a smartphone app, and the identities of the consumer and the eyecare professional (ECP) will not be revealed. This will allow consumers to ask individual questions and even send photographs to an ECP for additional details and guidance. To develop the most comprehensive content, Essilor partnered with AllAboutVision.com, an independent resource providing consumers with trustworthy, up-to-date information on vision correction and eye health.

AskAboutEyes will be led by Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, an esteemed practitioner and key opinion leader in medical optometry. Dr. Karpecki will manage a network of ECPs across the country to ensure users are receiving precise and timely answers and advice. Essilor will provide financial compensation to the practitioners based on the amount of time they spend answering consumer questions received via the app, although the details of the compensation program have yet to be worked out, Karpecki said. Karpecki said he believes ECPs will also find the app valuable because it can drive more eye exams to their offices through its doctor locator live link that will be incorporated into the app.

The app is not intended to be a diagnostic tool or to usurp the independent ECP, according to Karpecki. It is to serve as a trustworthy informational resource that will drive more consumers to their eyecare practitioners for comprehensive eye exams and treatment, as well as products and other valuable services.

Expected to launch later this year, the AskAboutEyes app will be highlighted on the Essilor Newsroom at  news.essilorusa.com and available free for download on the App Store and Google Play.