Consider these 3 points before investing in an OCT or Fundus Camera

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Posted by Graham Avery
Graham is head of EasyScan UK since 2018. Graham’s experience extends thirty years in the UK optical market having run his own business primarily in the contact lens field, and holding senior management positions at Menicon, Ultravision and Bausch & Lomb. Having started his career in contact lens manufacturing, he has moved on to B2B sales and marketing, leading commercial teams and new product launch and international distribution channels in markets across EMEA and Asia.

investing in fundus camera

Consider these 3 points before investing in an OCT or Fundus Camera

The purchase of retinal imaging equipment is one of the biggest investments you will make for your practice and it is therefore critical that your chosen device helps to make your practice more successful. The long term success of your practice is depended on a loyal and expanding customer base. So before considering making this critical investment have you considered how it will help you with growing and strengthening your customer base?

The only 3 ways to grow your business

Fundamentally, there are only 3 ways to increase (or keep constant) the revenue of any business:

  • Attract new customers: Somehow entice new people to select your practice over another practice.
  • Increase spend per visit: When customers are in your practice make them spend more.
  • Decrease time between purchase: Make sure that existing customers come back (customer loyalty) and come back earlier than normal.

When considering their investment, most Eye Care professionals will focus on the price and the capabilities of their new retinal imaging equipment. When they consider the return on their investment they will mainly focus on what they can charge extra for their exam. However this view is fairly limited and over the last year we have met many opticians/optometrists that have confided in us that their latest purchase (often an OCT) has not worked out for them financially.

Purchasing rationales to take into account when considering the purchase of an OCT are your patient demographic, perhaps predominantly elderly, NHS or private and patient exclusion from this service because of their ability to pay extra charges for an OCT scan. Another thing to consider with the purchase of an OCT it is the possible impact on your workflow process in the practice. OCT scans and results will mean longer test times due to the increased time to take an image and to carefully review all the data. Of course you can charge extra for these exams, but if this means that you can perform less vision tests in a day, it will result in a reduction in the number of pairs of glasses you can sell.

Due to the fact that the margins on glasses is still very healthy, it is key to ensure that the eye testing is of course not only of the highest standard but also ensure that the dispensing is supported. Your clinical expertise is a key reason why customers trust you and why they select your practice. However to maximize the impact of this knowledge, it is key to have the means to share the knowledge with the customer such that they can make an informed decision when they make their purchase. It is not only important to have this discussion in the testing area but make this an integral part of the flow in your practice.

With the right material, training and tools it is possible to ensure that everybody in the practice, from the front staff, the (locum) optometrist and the DO provide a consistent story. In this way your customers will have a great experience and deep trust in your expertise and advice. This will allow you to properly explain to them the importance of the products you are recommending.

Using the EasyScan to grow your business

The EasyScan is first and foremost an excellent clinical tool, providing unparallel images of the retina. By using two different lasers, each carefully tuned to maximize clinical relevance. The Green laser provides the highest possible contrast of the blood vessels, it provides stunning images of the front of the retina. The infrared laser is not absorbed by the photoreceptors and can thus image all the way down to the RPE layer.

But the EasyScan is unique with its capability to make these high quality images through the smallest pupils. It is the only retinal scanner that can image through pupils of 1.5mm or larger. This means you really, never ever have to dilate. This feature has two very positive effects. Firstly, the customer experience is made more comfortable with no dilation, and secondly, this capability allows optimization of the testing workflow, for example it is possible to take the images in the pretesting area or even in the shop itself. The imaging is so easy that also the support staff or the dispensing optician can take the images. This not only frees up valuable time of the optometrist but also increases the engagement of the other staff and makes them appear more knowledgeable in the eyes of the customers.

With the new EasyScan experience we can further improve this link between the optometrist in the testing area and the front office staff. The images are available across the practice and are supported with animations and information to explain the importance of retinal imaging. This improves customer engagement and understanding and can be directly converted to increased up and cross selling of premium products.

From the EasyScan experience it is also possible to directly share the customer rapport with the retinal images per email or as print out, and subsequently with family and friends. This gives the customer a reminder of their experience and they  can be converted to a brand ambassador of your practice.

Finally, the introduction of the EasyScan can be supported with dedicated marketing material that can be adapted to your practices house style to explain the investment that you have done to ensure that your customers eye health remains optimal.

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