KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Why wait at the doctor’s office and overpay for glasses or contacts?
With about $1 million in financial backing, a Chicago based start-up set to launch this fall has the solution.
Aaron Dallek and his partner Steven Lee have created the first online eye clinic, called Opternative. After answering a few questions, a doctor will write a prescription for glasses or contacts.
The American Optometric Association calls the online exams misleading.
In a routine eye exam, Dr. Ginger Cline, an optometrist at Stateline Eye Care, looks at the overall health of the eye and can detect if there are other problems in the body-- something she says a doctor has to do face-to-face.
"Especially people who might have diabetes or other vascular problems, we can see a lot of their eyes and determine if things are going well," Dr. Cline said.
While the traditional approach is the most common, Dallek says the upside to the online exam is convenience.
"It also reduces the cost of getting an eye exam or getting a pair of glasses or contacts," he said."It does not replace an eye doctor, we clearly label that and the opportunities are for if you break your glasses between eye care visits or if you get contacts every year and don't always need a comprehensive eye exam."
But Dr. Cline says a visit to the doctor's office is about getting complete personal care.
"I feel like I have a good rapport with my patients and I think that's half the battle. If they can't talk to me and tell me what's going on, they are not really getting a complete eye exam," Dr. Ginger Cline said, an optometrist at Stateline Eye Care.