Optician Awards: Technology to the fore

Advanced Ophthalmic Systems was the proud winner of the Technology Award at the Optician Awards 2022 ceremony. Emma White learns about the company’s latest developments

‘We have attended the Optician Awards for years and it has always been one of the first events that gets added to the AOS calendar,’ says Ben David, general manager at Advanced Ophthalmic Systems (AOS).  

‘We were short-listed in 2021 and obviously disappointed not to get the nod, so when we won this year it more than made up for that. We were overjoyed to get this level of recognition from such an important industry publisher and the ceremony itself was an enjoyable night that will live long in our memory.’ 

The judging panel commended the winner for providing ‘tools that not only help with the diagnosis and management of eye disease, but allow networking and standardisation of recording and monitoring’. The judges felt its latest developments also looked ‘very exciting’. 

‘Our focus as a business is to deliver exceptional patient experiences in a fully regulated environment. We meet and exceed the highest standards of care and adhere to the highest levels of industry compliance,’ says David. ‘Our hybrid care platform is in use across the globe and is now the tool of choice for the largest remote contact lens service in the UK.’  

The London-based company was launched in 2016 to bring web-based, data-compliant, objective imaging and hybrid care tools to eye care professionals (ECPs) around the world.

AOS’s ophthalmic software provides objective grading of the anterior segment, image enhancement, patient and clinician mobile imaging apps, live video calling between the eye care professional and patient, as well as patient reports.

All software is regularly updated in response to customer and patients’ needs and requests. Features added late last year included a ‘contact lens fitting tool and improvements to the company’s telehealth platform’. 

Taking centre stage this year is the AOS remote visual acuity tool (AOS VA); a clinically accurate and reliable remote visual acuity system that enables healthcare providers to conduct in-person examinations and assessments only when needed and for remote sessions to become part of their patient management process. 

‘We knew that being able to conduct a remote VA test was something ECPs and patients were crying out for, so it was a natural next phase of development for us and the feedback thus far from patients and ECPs alike has been fantastic,’ says David. 

The AOS VA tool has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it meets high standards of care, is industry compliant and delivers a seamless experience for both patient and ECP. 

‘A remote, synchronous virtual acuity test is a vital component of any hybrid care process and if it is fully compliant and clinically validated then ECPs can rest assured they are delivering a standard of care that replicates that which currently takes place in-person,’ says David, adding: ‘Patients appreciate not having to waste time coming in to practice unnecessarily and the ECPs we have worked with have said that they love how easy it is to use.’ 

During extensive clinical testing, the AOS VA system was ‘shown to compare to the standard of care for an in-clinic visual acuity test and was 89% repeatable’. Using a combination of semi-automated test algorithms and automated scoring, the VA system measures and calculates precise and reliable visual acuity test scores. 

The AOS VA tool is currently being used in numerous pilots in high street optometry and NHS ophthalmology and it will be available as a standalone product or as part of an AOS subscription from June 5.  

‘These are very exciting times and the opportunities afforded by the rapid development of mobile technology, AI and digital imaging in particular is something that will fundamentally change how healthcare services are delivered,’ says David.  

Furthermore, AOS’s CEO Karl Jeebaun, chair of the OSA e-health committee, is working closely with the NHS and industry manufacturers to ensure the latest technological opportunities are coherently addressed.  

‘We have been doing a lot of work with OSA to help the industry navigate the changes and provide a clearer path to adoption,’ David adds. 

Full-service onboarding and training are provided to all new AOS customers, extending to wider systems integration, hardware troubleshooting, practice management advice and technical training. Webinars, training videos, instruction manuals, business management virtual ‘drop-in clinics’ and access to CPD educational training and points via ICETuk, are all included.  

Marketing guidance is also provided, including a toolkit with social media cards, in-practice screen and print assets and advice for practitioners to promote their business to as wide an audience as possible.