Industry Veteran Howard Fried, OD, Launches ‘Tele-Optometry’ Company

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LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y.—Howard Fried, OD, an industry veteran with experience owning and operating both retail and wholesale optical businesses, is launching a new telehealth venture, DigitalOptometrics. The company, based here, recently completed a successful test of its remote comprehensive eye health exam system. Now, after considerable development and testing on hundreds of patients in a retail optical environment, Fried is offering the “tele-optometry” service to remote optometrists and optical providers nationwide. “The DigitalOptometrics system offers patients comprehensive eye care examinations, performed by licensed optometrists at a location remote from the optical exam site,” explained Fried, who serves as president of the company. “By utilizing live video conferencing between doctor and patient, an in-person comprehensive eye exam is performed by harnessing current technology. Optometrists can now be available to perform eye exams during all business hours throughout the week offering patients the convenience of a comprehensive eye exam with or without an appointment.”

Fried said the DigitalOptometrics eye exam is based on the elements of a comprehensive eye health exam and vision analysis recommended by the American Optometric Association: a complete vision analysis, gathering of ocular and physical health histories, subjective visual findings to determine an accurate prescription for vision correction and an evaluation of current eye health including a glaucoma screening test. The complete exam offered by DigitalOptometrics can be completed in less than 30 minutes, according to Fried.

In his new role as head of a tech startup, Fried will draw upon his extensive as a clinician and businessman. He has over 20 years of experience combining optometric patient services with the ownership and operation of retail optical stores, and has owned and managed a prescription laboratory.

Fried believes the timing is good for optometrists to consider incorporating telehealth into their practices, given its increasing importance in optical as well as in the broader health care arena. “Today’s technology provides optometrists with a powerful tool for extending and enhancing patient care, while allowing them to have greater flexibility in managing and growing their practice,” he told VMAIL.

DigitalOptometrics will introduce its eye exam system next week at Vision Expo in New York. Fried will be one of several optical executives participating in a telehealth session during Vision Monday’s Global Leadership Summit on March 14 in New York.