Aakanksha Pathania, B.Optom

Optometrist, Sharp Sight Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India


According to the definition of World Council of Optometry (WCO), “Optometry is a healthcare profession that is autonomous, educated, and regulated, and optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/diagnosis, and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system”. (1)

Many countries still do not acknowledge optometry as a validated profession. As a result, communities could not approach eye examinations, creating a direct influence on people’s lives.


Tele Optometry is defined as the implementation of providing ocular health and vision care services to patients through telecommunications technology. (2) It includes everything from testing visual acuity to prescribing and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses, diagnoses on eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration.

Tele Optometry is believed to be a suitable and coherent way to acquire eye care and obtain general information about eye health in any place.(2)

[Picture Courtesy- https://www.offeringhope.org/tele-optometry]


  1. Tele optometry offers an extent of advantages such as expanded access to eye care, upgraded competence and convenience.
  2. It reaches people who might not have access to eye care, namely rural areas.
  3. They are also helpful in diagnosing various eye conditions such as conjunctival haemorrhage, eyelid tumours, pterygium, and keratitis.

Amidst all the benefits Tele Optometry provides, the new technology also comes with a disadvantage such as the online eye exam: it is less detailed than hospital exams/offline exams.(3)

Artificial Intelligence in Eye:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as the potential of machines to utilise data to solve problems and complete tasks to derive crucial information that used to be the sole state of humans.(4)

Human eye hands over a primary opportunity for AI assistance. AI in optometry serves an appealing crossover with multiple benefits such as:

  1. Offering comprehensive knowledge to patients. Remember asking google solutions and feeling more lost, AI superhero to the rescue. It enables organised data and helps to take accurate actions.
  2. Prioritising management on the extent of need. This advanced program sorts out patients according to need.
  3. Individualising uptake questions, asking follow questions to obtain the most important information.
  4. AI in optometry can intensify screening and diagnosis.it can detect early signs of ARMD, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy. (5)

AI comes with a bundle of benefits; however, it also marks important ethical questions. AI based solutions work on critical points such as ensuring patient data privacy, security, and transparency.

Artificial Intelligence and tele optometry are revolutionising the field of optometry, maximising patient care, enabling accurate diagnoses, and expanding to everyone in need.(6)  As we embrace the capabilities of AI and tele optometry it is crucial to ensure safety such as ethical considerations.



  1. Lewis, T. L. (1994). Defining the scope of practice of optometry. Optometry and vision science71(2), 76-79.
  2. Patel, J., Morettin, C., McLeod, H., Wyles, E., Sanghera, N., Kattouf, V., … & Messner, L. (2020). Patient experience of tele-optometry in the comprehensive eye examination; a pilot study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science61(7), 1596-1596.
  3. Caffery, L. J., Taylor, M., Gole, G., & Smith, A. C. (2019). Models of care in tele-ophthalmology: a scoping review. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare25(2), 106-122.
  4. Martinez-Perez, C., Alvarez-Peregrina, C., Villa-Collar, C., & Sanchez-Tena, M. A. (2022). Artificial intelligence applied to ophthalmology and optometry: A citation network analysis. Journal of optometry15, S82-S90.
  5. Martinez-Perez, C., Alvarez-Peregrina, C., Villa-Collar, C., & Sanchez-Tena, M. A. (2022). Artificial intelligence applied to ophthalmology and optometry: A citation network analysis. Journal of optometry15, S82-S90.
  6. Massie, J., Block, S. S., & Morjaria, P. (2022). The role of optometry in the delivery of eye care via telehealth: a systematic literature review. Telemedicine and e-Health28(12), 1753-1763.

Cover image courtesy: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01111-y