Village Opticians
Whiting, N.J.
Digital Technology Snapshot: OptikamPad iPad App

Joel Wolf was an early adopter of Optikam, one of the pioneers of digital measurement. Now, after more than a decade, he continues to rely on the system, which has evolved into a complete dispensing solution that helps ECPs assist patients at all stages of the eyewear dispensing process.

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Joel Wolf, Optician and Owner, Village Opticians
“I was one of the first in the U.S. to buy the Optikam system, about 14 years ago. I’m a progressive minded person. When I bought this technology, I was very excited about it. I found it through the internet. A rep that came by and showed it to me and I bought it before he finished explaining it to me. I have a very big business background outside the optical industry and it just made sense to me to be able to show patients visually the benefits of different lens options.

It increased our sales immediately. I wanted to have something that would give patients a unique experience so they would not see glasses as commodity. The frame selector was a great tool, especially for patients who were either really nearsighted or really farsighted. It gave them the ability to be able to see how they look the day they ordered their glasses as opposed to when they pick them up.

Soon after I bought the system, they added electronic measuring, and that really kind of revolutionized our office. It makes us more efficient and professional. We make sure that patients understand that we’re using state-of-the-art technology to demonstrate the lens that we’re trying to sell them.

The patients really appreciate it when you go in and take measurements electronically. They are starting to expect this type of experience when they come into your practice. There’s no other industry that you would go out and spend a lot of money on a pair of lenses, and then take a 99 cent felt marker and dot them up. That doesn’t resonate well with the patients when they’re spending that much money, and they see you’re using the same technology that’s been used for 30 or 40 years.

The learning curve is very easy. It’s very intuitive. Most people can learn it very quickly, even if they’re not very technical.

I’ve been using the measurement features for eight or nine years. The app on the iPad really made the biggest difference. The reason the app is so good is because it’s so easy to work with. You don’t have to move patients from a dispensing table to the system itself. It makes it easier to work with older patients because you don’t have to ask them to move them around.

When you’re selling these new digital lenses, such as personalized and compensated progressive lenses and you don’t have the right tools to measure and fit them, the patient doesn’t get the full benefit of what they’re paying for. Using default measurements isn’t fair. If patients spend that extra money for those lenses, the lenses should be compensated properly.

The year the economy crashed was the same year that we started using the Optikam software. Even though the volume of patients was decreasing because the economy was so bad, our sales were increasing. I never felt the effect because of the software. I always say that in 30 years, putting in the Optikam software was probably the one thing that I did in my office that had the biggest impact on our success.”