Rise of the machines

Ahmed Ejaz field tests the Visionix Eye Refract and its claims to save time in refraction

‘This has all changed since my day.’ It’s not uncommon to hear something along these lines in a primary care practice environment. Advancing technology is helping to make an eye exam more beneficial for both patient and practitioner. The pace of this change has picked up in recent years with the introduction of digital retinal photography and optical coherence tomography as standard in many practices across the high street. These changes have been largely welcomed across the optical industry. Investment in advanced technologies such as these will allow for an increase in patient care and reduce strain on hospitals – as pathology can be better identified and managed in the practice without the need for referral. Recently, a much talked about new piece of equipment has started to appear in high street practice; the Visionix Eye Refract.

Visionix Eye Refract

The machine itself has a rather familiar feel – a base unit set up in front of a test chart (figure 1). Included is a Wi-Fi enabled tablet running on an Android operating system. The practitioner or assistant conducting the test will ask the patient to place their chin on the chin rest, and then observe the tablet to ensure the patient is lined up correctly. The machine features two Hartmann-Shack sensors running simultaneously that couple an automatic refraction with a lens adjustment, allowing the subjective element to be performed.

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