Science ‘Faction’ at the VM Summit

I’m getting to the point where I can’t play the Vision Monday newbie card much longer, but one thing I can reflect on as the previously uninitiated is the recent VM Global Leadership Summit held in NYC the week of Vision Expo East. Other members of the Vision Monday team did a superlative job putting the agenda together, and since my participation was limited to covering it for our magazine, and the Show Dailies, I’m in a position to commend them on what an impressive lineup they put together and what exciting innovations those speakers revealed.

For example, among the amazing new technologies discussed were an iPhone attachment that allows users to conduct refractions, an artificial retina that enables the blind to see, eye-tracking technology that helps designers make the most impact with the websites and retail operations they create, and self-service health-screening kiosks that not only test you to determine if you need further examination by a professional but that also provide you with a list of providers in your area.

As with all aspects of our lives these days, technology continues to astound us in the optical field as it improves ECPs’ practices and the quality of the lives of their patients. Still, as technology seems to advance exponentially, sometimes feeling as if it’s reaching beyond our grasp, it’s important to remember the ultimate end user, the patient.

Two Summit speakers who represent a couple of prominent retail operations reminded us of that fact, stating, “The most successful practices are those that are involved in their community” and “The one thing that does not change is that eyecare providers, no matter how they operate, still live or die by customer service.”

Science fiction may be quickly becoming fact, but the human touch will never go out of style.