The Huffington Post ran a commentary today by an author who asserts that the AOA’s fight against online refraction is nothing more than an example of “crony capitalism”, similar to the war that taxi companies are engaged in vs. Uber and Lyft —
Their main argument is that this new technology cannot check for concerns like eye infections. Of course, what they are forgetting to mention is that there is a difference between an eye prescription and eye health exam. Even consumers that use ocular telemedicine still need to receive eye health exams, but even the American Optometric Association ― the group leading the push against telemedicine ― admits that this is only necessary for health adults once every 1-2 years.
In short, Big Eye is pushing a false media narrative in order to kill technology that is jeopardizing the safety of their business model. Thankfully for us, this cartel isn’t coming even remotely close to winning their fights. Last week in New Mexico, the eye care industry quivered as Deborah Armstrong and Sheryl Williams-Stapleton’s anti-ocular telemedicine legislation received the veto stamp from the state’s governor, Susana Martinez, who is well aware that the new technology should be encouraged, not prohibited, by the state government. A similar veto came in South Carolina last year, when then-Gov. Nikki Haley affirmed that the medical lobby was “[using] health practice mandates to stifle competition for the benefit of a single industry.”
This editorial has been seen by hundreds of thousands of folks around the world.
But is the picture tthe author is painting accurate?
As a clinician, how do you feel about signing off on an Rx of a patient you’d never seen?
And how would you respond to these assertions?