I would never consider myself as a techie. If anything, I have been something of a late adopter of many of the major breakthroughs in technology. When asked to recommend a book on IT, I would usually suggest the one by Stephen King.

I have been as surprised as anyone at how we have become increasingly reliant upon technology during work hours. We have all got so used to our smartphones that going without is quite a shock to the system. I now feel the same if working in a clinic having left my tablet at home. My non-sim card, GDPR-friendly iPad is essential, whether out on domiciliary visits or back at base. I can use it to offer a range of near targets, all realistic, and with a variety of contrasts, colours and fonts. I can use dedicated eye care apps, such as for assessing tracking, exploiting preferential looking or for testing colour vision, central distortion, facial recognition and so many more. I can use video to help maintain patient interest, which is particularly useful with young kids. I can access up-to-date information, demonstrate concepts to patients, and the camera in modern tablets is good enough to capture clinical images, either for the records or for explaining something to the patient.

So, I was really pleased to hear from a couple of eye care techies recently. Graham O’Regan, a one-time regular in this publication, has been involved in developing a number of new computerised tests and programs which you will find in Optician's clinical features (22.04.22). I also bumped into Dr Stephanie Campbell in Bristol recently. She has co-founded the OKKO Health group just down the road from me, so we were bound to meet in Wilko one day. The group are launching some excellent new apps that I am currently trying out and hope to report on in the coming weeks.

Technology is here to stay.

  • Do you have an idea for a clinical feature? Email the clinical editor bill.harvey@markallengroup.com.