Vision prescriptions online?
Opternative is waiting on FDA approval to launch affordable online eye exams backed by licensed ophthalmologists to write digital prescriptions to patients across the country.
If you're between the ages of 18 and 40 with good health but bad vision, you might be able to get your eyeglass or contact prescription without a trip to the doctor's office.
While not the first to offer online eye exams, Opternative plans to be the first to write and send prescriptions for glasses or contacts over email. This summer, the company plans to launch 10 minute eye exams online for $35, validating results through an ophthalmologist licensed in the patient's state. From there, customers can submit online prescriptions to online vendors, shipping glasses or contacts right to their front door.
The company is still seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which has approached online prescription sales with caution. While the online test may accurately recommend a prescription, it does not detect other health problems unknown by the patient.
The company could make glasses and contacts more accessible for those who cannot afford a traditional eye exam. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, just 42 percent of Americans without health insurance use eye care services compared to 67 percent of those with private insurance and 55 percent of those with public insurance.
Still, while some would benefit from cost reduction, many would be left out. Opternative excludes children under 18 and adults over 40, more than half of the country's population.