New TeleEyes Site Aims to Help Patients Find Eyecare Professionals

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NEW YORK—A new online platform, debuted yesterday to enable patients to find an eyecare professional if they're in need of eyecare or eyewear services across the country. It's being launched by Abby Ayoub, CEO and founder of the Clifton, N.J.-based Optical Academy which provides a range of onsite eyecare services to schools and work sites or community centers. The new TeleEyes platform invites innovative eyecare professionals who want to share their expertise and provide immediate consultations to treat, educate, and refer their patients back to their office when necessary.

Providers will have access to millions of Optical Academy members through the support from the largest Education Associations and Departments of Health & Education in the country, the announcement said. Ayoub told VMAIL, "Our educators are primarily virtual through our pandemic and are in desperate need of online eyecare services and immediate first eyecare responder. We will also be working heavily across the country to introduce to school sites, work sites and communities. The more providers we have, the more we can deliver nationally."

Ayoub explained, "These times have forced us to refine and redesign the way we deliver eyecare. Office capacities have reduced but the demand for eyecare is higher than ever before. Students, teachers, and all other professionals are going about their life online with virtual learning and working. The increased screen time has caused widespread concern for eye health all over the nation. It's our job as an industry to remain accessible to our communities and give them the convenience that they deserve."

She added, "Telemedicine websites are already providing these services by physicians who are not eyecare professionals. It's time we take control of our industry by providing these telehealth services to consumers who are clearly trying to find ways to save time and money. Being the first responder to any eyecare issue will allow you to expand your practice by providing necessary follow-up care in-office or onsite when it cannot be performed online."

On, patients will be linked to providers who are closest in proximity to their location so that in person treatment can be available. Optical Academy will remain a separate business, Ayoub told VMAIL, "but explained that Optical Academy's largest client, National Education Association, represents three million active members, not including their family and retirees, and providers serving that group will sign on to TeleEyes."

TeleEyes offers opportunities for optometrists, ophthalmologists or opticians to take part. They must be licensed in the state they provide service and abide by the states' telehealth laws, and respond within an hour of the requested online visit. ECPs who subscribe will have a full profile of their specialty, insurances accepted, and if they provide mobile eyecare.

Eyecare subscribers will receive an email alert when a patient has requested a TeleEyes visit. If they are accepting insurance, the provider must adhere to that insurance's protocol, she said. Subscriptions are $149 per month, Ayoub said. She also noted that TeleEyes will provide consumers with a separate TeleOptician experience in which an optician, technician, or frame stylist will guide and recommend frame and lens options using video chat conferencing tools.