It was not all that long ago that, as an eye care practitioner, it would be perfectly normal to go a year or more without speaking to individual patients. You’d have the half hour for their eye examination but little or no other contact until next time.

Thanks to technology, that has all changed. We now have more means of staying in touch with patients than ever before, and that represents a huge opportunity for all of us.

Whether it is an email about new product, text message appointment reminders or social media posts, we are never more than a tap or two away.

Many have embraced this fully and taken it to the next level, with Skype or Facetime calls for regular patients in need of advice or WhatsApp acting as a virtual support group for patients undergoing similar treatments.

SurveyMonkey is being trialled as a way of obtaining pre-appointment information while the use of Facebook Live for exclusive ‘Q&A-style’ sessions for patients has seen encouraging results.

In a fast-moving, modern world with so many brands and products competing for our attention, it is more vital then ever we build relationships with our patients. We need to be accessible, we need to be visible and we need to be available.

With drop out rates remaining an issue for contact lenses, could we use technology to do more to help those patients still adjusting to their new lenses?

The data tells us that if new users are to drop out it will happen in the first two or three weeks. Could we reach out to them in that time frame to check their progress?

A few seconds to offer reassurance, guidance and a helping hand could be the difference between losing a patient or welcoming them into your practice for a lifetime.