Technology has changed all aspects of our lives. Optometry is no exception.
As new advancements in technology surface, we as optometrists can use these resources to practice more efficiently and provide a higher standard of care.
We recently had an opportunity to talk to Marc Albanese, of Smart Vision Labs, and gain insight on their company as well as their device, SVOne.
What and Who is Smart Vision Labs?
Smart Vision Labs is building the future of vision care. The company was founded by Yaopeng Zhou and myself. We met more than 10 years ago while developing a scanning laser ophthalmoscope in a joint program between the Schepens Eye Research Institute and Boston University. We have since raised venture financing and have a team of over 20 professionals working to push the bounds of mobile equipment.
What is the mission of Smart Vision Labs? What was the inspiration behind it?
Our mission is to increase access to vision care by making exams quicker and easier for both doctors and patients. In 2012, Yaopeng read an article stating that one billion people globally suffer from uncorrected refractive error – largely due to lack of trained medical personnel and because the equipment is both expensive and bulky. He then had the insight to use the supercomputer in our pockets — the smartphone — to build a better solution.
Tell us about your device SVOne. What makes it unique and different from other autorefractors that are out there? What has feedback been like on the device?
The SVOne is an ultraportable autorefractor powered by an iPhone. With a single click, our device captures a wavefront map of the eye to determine a patient’s refractive error. Because of the SVOne’s portability, connectivity and precision, vision exams and screenings can be done anywhere. Our device enables doctors to generate revenue and cut costs while bringing the “wow factor” to patients.
From a technology perspective, the SVOne is unmatched. Our device is powered by wavefront aberrometry, a superior technology that measures refractive errors more comprehensively than traditional corneal autorefractors. Our device is as accurate as $40,000 desktop aberrometers with a price tag that’s a tenth of the cost. We also have a distinct advantage over our competitors as a smartphone-based instrument. Due to our cloud capabilities we are able to respond quickly to feedback from customers.
Customers have said the following about the SVOne:
“I’ve been practicing for over 30 years. With my recent purchase of the SVOne I’ve put aside my retinoscope and now use this innovative new technology on every patient, every day.”
“I love [the SVOne] and have to say the ‘wow factor’ is a real plus with my patients as well.”
So you’re launching a new initiative on NewGradOptometry.com What is it?
We are pleased to announce our new 12-month financing plan. For under $400 a month, we can help new graduates hit the ground running with the SVOne.
The SVOne is a great option for new optometrists, because it helps to cut down on overhead costs and enables doctors to provide care in a wider variety of contexts: school screenings, corporate screenings, nursing homes, remote care for patients with limited access to doctors.
Where is Smart Vision Labs located?
Smart Vision Labs is located in the heart of New York City – right next door to the SUNY College of Optometry! (Note that our IRB clinical study was conducted at SUNY under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda and Dr. Mark Rosenfield).
What is the work environment/culture like at Smart Vision Labs? What is a typical day like?
The SVL team is driven, but collegial. In a given day we might have demo webinars, new client trainings, sales initiative meetings, technical updates, investor pitches, marketing and public relations meetings and the list goes on.
What kind of career opportunities exist at Smart Vision Labs?
We employ many types of individuals including optometrists. If you are interested in applying for a position here at Smart Vision Labs you can find more information on Covalent Careers.