In the world of eye health, remote optometry or teleoptometry is emerging as an innovative alternative, offering solutions to the challenges posed by the lack of optometric resources in some remote areas. To better understand this practice, we had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Monika St-Onge Lapierre, an optometrist who has successfully embraced this new approach.

Defining teleoptometry

Simply put, remote optometry involves performing comprehensive eye examinations using technology, enabling optometrists to diagnose and treat eye problems without being physically present with the patient. Dr. Monika St-Onge Lapierre explains that this practice is particularly beneficial in regions with limited access to eye care professionals. 

Serving remote areas 

One of the fascinating aspects of remote optometry is its ability to extend the reach of optometric services, reaching places where access to quality eye care is often challenging. Dr. Monika St-Onge Lapierre shares her experience, highlighting her successful collaboration with the IRIS store in Havre St-Pierre and Fermont, two remote towns that have benefited from her services thanks to teleoptometry.

Benefits for patients

Teleoptometry is an effective solution for obtaining a complete visual examination in a shorter timeframe for patients. Dr. St-Onge Lapierre explains that this approach offers a valuable alternative, enabling individuals to receive optometric care without travelling long distances to an optometry clinic.

Enriching optometric practice

Adopting teleoptometry has been a professionally enriching experience for Dr. Monika St-Onge Lapierre. Working remotely, she has developed new observation and analysis skills, rethinking how she approaches different aspects of her eye examinations. What she found surprising was that the special bond between optometrist and patient could be preserved despite the physical distance.

The evolution of technology

When asked about the future of teleoptometry, Dr. Monika St-onge Lapierre is optimistic about the continuing evolution of this technology. She envisages that future advances will enable even more comprehensive assessments to be carried out in regions facing optometric recruitment or accessibility difficulties, thus offering more timely care.

A telling anecdote

Among the many patients helped by teleoptometry, Dr. Monika St-Onge Lapierre recounts how patients are often pleasantly surprised by the technological level of their examinations, realizing that they receive as complete attention as if they were physically present in an examination room. This technology has been a godsend for those who might otherwise have had to wait weeks or even months to see an eye care professional.