Service-Highlight opti 2024

Why visit an optician for preventive eye care?

Our eyes are exposed to great strain every day and we are getting significantly older than previous generations. The number of people affected by eye diseases is constantly increasing. In order to detect such diseases at an early stage, ophthalmologists recommend regular check-ups.

When was the last time you saw an ophthalmologist?  

The earlier eye diseases are detected, the better the chances of treatment to prevent possible vision loss. But how can this screening be made accessible, even though the capacity of ophthalmologists is already severely limited today? We, ocumeda, an innovative teleophthalmological start-up, solve this challenge by offering people innovative access to preventive eye care and building a bridge between ophthalmologists and opticians. 

An example: 

Hans, a 69-year-old man, visits his local optician to buy a new pair of glasses. During the visit, he is recommended an ocumeda eye check-up. Preventive care? Hans hasn't been to the optician for 10 years and has no complaints about his eyes. Nevertheless, he is interested and accepts the offer. The check-up takes place directly after the classic eye test and lasts around 10 minutes. Health questions are asked, images of the back of the eye are taken and the intraocular pressure is measured. Hans leaves the optician's branch. 

Two days later, Hans receives the results - a worrying report. Haemorrhages and fluid accumulations were discovered in his right eye - alarming evidence of an epiretinal membrane. These are thin membranes that grow on the surface of the retina and can lead to considerable visual impairment. How can this be?

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The critical supply situation in Germany 

Hans' case is not an isolated one. Around one in five cases at ocumeda show abnormalities that require further ophthalmological clarification. Eye diseases are often painless and show barely noticeable symptoms. However, in Germany alone, 1.2 million people are affected by visual impairment and blindness. Studies regularly show that many cases could be prevented through early detection.  

In addition, there is a shortage of care capacity. Even today, there is often a very long wait for an appointment with an ophthalmologist. In some cases, it can take up to 6 months to get an appointment. This problem will worsen in the future. However, demographic change means that eye diseases in particular will increase significantly over the next few years. The traditional eye care system will be overloaded and increasingly overwhelmed as a result.  

ocumeda: preventive eye care made easy 

ocumeda, founded by an interdisciplinary team centred around two ophthalmologists, has therefore set itself the goal of making preventive eye care accessible at a low threshold. The business model is based on an innovative collaboration between ophthalmologists and opticians. Opticians offer the service at their locations and collect the required measurements. These are transmitted via ocumeda to digitally connected ophthalmologists to assess eye health. Customers receive the results of the assessment within a few days according to a traffic light logic: green, yellow or red. In the case of amber and red reports, customers are referred to local ophthalmologists for further examination and treatment. 

Early detection as the key to visual health 

And how is Hans doing today? He is now undergoing treatment. Thanks to early detection by ocumeda, his treatment was initiated in good time and worse was avoided. "My ophthalmologist told me it was high time. I am very grateful that my optician made me aware of the eye screening programme. I can only recommend it to everyone." 


* Note: The names and pictures of the people have been pseudonymised.