CVS is setting its sights on the eye care space, launching a new digital tool that lets customers renew contact lens prescription remotely via an online vision test and an asynchronous telemedicine interaction. The tool, named QuickRenew, is powered by the technology from Premium Vision.
The service first checks to see if the client is a good fit for the telemedicine service. In order to be eligible, customers have to have been fitted with contact lens in the past and had a full eye exam within the last four years. Once customers get the green light, they are instructed to take a photo of their eye so the ophthalmologist can check for irritation or redness.
Patients are given an online vision test to check and see if the client can see in their current prescription. After the client inputs all of that information the ophthalmologist can review the information.
This wasn’t the only eye news that was released this morning. Digital eye health company GoCheck released a new app that checks for visual acuity in the home, via telemedicine and at home. An ophthalmologist can order the test. The patient enters their information into the app and takes a visual test. The results are then shared back to the ophthalmologist.
WHY IT MATTERS
The market for contact lens in the U.S. is large. According to the CDC, approximately 45 million people in the nation wear glasses. Most contact lenses need a prescription from an eye doctor.
Globally, the eyewear industry is valued at $132.32 billion dollars, according to Statista.
THE LARGER TREND
CVS isn’t the first company to explore digital for eye care. Visibly, formerly Opternative, was of the first companies in the space. In 2015, the company launched its first online refractive eye exam. Since then, it has partnered with 1-800 Contacts to launch an online eye exam.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing in the eye care space. State regulations vary when it comes to telemedicine for eye exams.
The company also received a warning from the FDA in 2018. The agency wrote that it considered Visibly’s online eye exam a Class 2 medical device, requiring pre-market clearance, and at the time it was registered as Class 1. This came after the American Optometric Association wrote a letter to the FDA asking the agency for more regulation over the company.
ON THE RECORD
“With 25 years of experience in the vision industry, Premium Vision is taking another meaningful step for our brand, our partners and most importantly for consumers,” Scott Osmond, VP of Premium Vision, said in a statement about CVS’ launch. “By leveraging our unique expertise, combined with advanced technology, we’re creating new solutions to help consumers get the vision care and correction they need from anywhere.”