NEW YORK—Escalated by the pandemic, consumers and patients are demonstrating their openness to using new technologies to redefine their own sense of wellness and take care of their own health. This is furthering the advent of new remote monitoring systems and wearables which are directly involving the patient in managing care with their doctors. Experts discussed these "Remote Possibilities" during VM's virtual Leadership Summit last week. They talked about how these technology developments can actually strengthen provider relationships with patients and provide healthier outcomes, too.

As Andy Karp, VM's group editor, lenses & technology, pointed out, "This fast moving area of remote monitoring systems, or RMS,
involves new devices with sensors that can monitor everything from a patient's heartbeat to their glaucoma progression. It also involves the fast growing 'do-it-yourself' trend, where consumers are buying affordable devices to check their own blood oxygen level or, perhaps, their eyesight. The home is becoming a true health hub."

VM Summit attendees heard a top-line view of key trends in the growing remote monitoring/wearables space from Grey Group's Ankit Vahia, PhD, executive director, health and wellness. "The pandemic has dramatically altered perceptions of self-care and self-health, it's also changed the way people are making their own healthcare decisions," he said.

Summit attendees also then learned about new efforts and the approach of Heru, which is a spin-off company from the University of Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the number one eye hospital in the U.S. Heru's goal is to provide physicians and patients access to state-of-the-art, accurate and portable technology through real-time wearable diagnostics. Starting out now, Heru is bringing out reVIVE by Heru, a modern diagnostic solution to perimetry using a lightweight wearable headset.
The approach is detailed in a presentation and overview from Dr. Mohamed Abou Shousha, founder, along with Heru board member, Microsoft Industry Solutions' Kerri-Lynn Morris who talked about the rapid development of this approach to diagnostics and the use of AI to work toward personalizing vision enhancements for patients.
They were also joined by John Serri, co-founder and president of EyeQue, which has a goal of getting access to vision tests to people all over the world. "We designed and developed devices that run on smart phones, which have many features and capabilities to build optical devices that sit on top of the phone, hand-held, very low priced. We are looking to expand all over the world where there is a tremendous need and is actually the way that more people can bring people to eye doctors." 
All were led by Grey's Vahia in an informative discussion that also included Dr. Amir Khoshnevis, chief medical officer of Vision Source, who said, "I am so optimistic that the future of technology will bring patients and doctors closer together. Technology will bridge the gap."

The full segment of "Remote Possibilities" is an element of the two-part "Retail & Healthcare: Upended!," Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 sessions of the virtual VM Leadership Summit this month and is now available On-Demand for registered Summit attendees. VM Leadership Summit Registration, still open at no charge to eyecare professionals, includes attendance to the virtual broadcasts, full access to the VM Summit virtual platform, networking, on-demand viewing, door prizes, and exclusive access to attendees-only content after the event. Details on the speakers are posted on the registration site.
The VM Summit's upcoming Oct. 27 virtual program will examine the retail side of things. Vision Monday's Marge Axelrad noted, "We’ll hear about how to re-engage shoppers in creative new ways that employ technology, both in and out of the store for a seamless brand experience. We'll learn about virtual worlds and advanced digital platforms that are emerging and capturing consumers' imagination. And we'll hear from a panel of accomplished professional and optical retail leaders about their own approaches to prioritizing technology in their businesses, and bringing new ideas into practice."

The Platinum Sponsors of the 2021 VM Leadership Summit are EssilorLuxottica, Healthy Eyes Advantage-PECAA and VSP Global Premier Program. The Gold Sponsor is The Vision Council's Vision Health Alliance and the Silver Sponsors are Alcon and Ocuco.