While new innovations and technologies have made our lives easier, they have also brought significant changes to the optometric profession. Beginning with constantly growing online optical sales, technology is changing the game.
In 20 years, will optometry as we know it still exist?
Eye health aside, any optometrist honest with herself will concede the primary purpose of an optometrist is to refract. Refraction, although definitely a skill, is at risk of extinction due to advances in technology. Although technology is a threat to many aspects of modern eyecare, and while one can argue about the timing/immediacy of such events (i.e. are we on the cusp of wholesale change now, or is the landscape going to largely be the same 10 years from now?), I consider refraction particularly susceptible to obsolescence in the continuum of facets of eyecare (which includes things like eye health assessments, appliances for seeing, and surgery).
As we take this high-level view of optometry today and speculate as to where the opportunities lie, we should be optimistic that optometry will continue to thrive and grow for the foreseeable future, despite the emergence of any new disruptors.
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