An online screening tool from Carl Zeiss Vision enables visitors to test their visual acuity, contrast vision, and color vision. Designed for people who wear glasses or contacts as well as those who don’t, the site was developed for the company’s “100 Years of Zeiss Precision Lenses” anniversary and as part of Healthy Vision Month. The site provides instructions that enable the user’s computer monitor to be configured to optimize the accuracy of the test, including instructions for how to achieve the correct settings for screen calibration, gamma calibration (brightness), and how far the eyes should be from the monitor. Results from the test come back within five minutes or less to let the user know if their vision is good, average or poor.
To learn more about the platform, Medgadget spoke to Jeff Hopkins, Carl Zeiss Vision’s senior manager of professional affairs.
Brian Klein, Medgadget: We understand that, according to research from Zeiss, more than 50% of Americans might not be wearing eyeglasses or contacts that are optimized for their eyes? What else did Zeiss discover in the survey?
Jeff Hopkins: We found that about 30% of people surveyed experience problems when reading, 44% rate their night vision as no better than satisfactory, and 48% do not have an eye exam every two years—they either wait longer than that or don’t have eye exams at all. Two years is considered the life of a prescription for glasses and contact lenses; you’re prescription continues to change throughout your life.
This is why we are focusing on increasing awareness and giving people the opportunity to have a quick vision screening online, so we can recommend that they see an eye doctor.
Medgadget: How well do you think people understand their vision and their options for vision correction?
Hopkins: That is the question that gets to the heart of the matter actually. There are a lot of people who don’t realize that their vision could be better because changes in vision tend to happen gradually. Many people certainly aren’t aware what options they have in terms of lenses—eyeglass lenses particularly. They think of glasses as a generic product. But, in fact, the very best lenses today are extremely sophisticated, and the range from that level to the most basic level is very large in terms of visual performance.
There are a lot of people who don’t realize t — what options they have. Particularly. They see it as a generic product. In fact, the best lenses today are extremely sophisticated. The range is very large in terms of the visual performance. There is a clear.
Medgadget: Is this online platform targeted at adults as well as children?
Hopkins: It is really targeted for adults. If an adult wanted to work with the child in doing it, that would make sense. The most important thing, and I say this especially regards to kids, is that this should never be considered a substitute for an eye exam. This if for a couple of reasons: For one thing, this is directional; it tells you if there might be a problem. And, of course, there is much more to an eye exam than just getting a prescription for eye glasses; it is also an examination of your visual health to see if there might be other problems in your eyes that can be addressed.
Medgadget: I understand that Zeiss is making an app for the iPad. What can you tell me about that?
Hopkins: The iPad tool will not contain the vision screening. What that tool will do is address the other part of the equation: people don’t know what their options are. The app will show you in a very friendly way the difference between a high-performance lens and a standard lens—the difference between using an anti-reflective coating and not having one.
It is one of those things that the Internet or an app is perfect for because the only way to get the message across is to show people. Describing it doesn’t really help people visualize. An interactive tool is really the way to go.