In recent years, several business industries had to come to terms with the realities of being challenged by online enterprises. Jeff Bezo, the founder of Amazon, has become one of the richest men in the world. The music industry, photograph shops, high street and mall retailers as well as travel agents, have all suffered on account of technological advances and online competitors. Optometry world-wide is facing similar challenges. On a recent visit to the USA, it was evident how aggressively online sales of eyewear is advertised on television. Eye care and eyewear, in the USA, is available online in every shape or form.
Optometry in South Africa will not be spared the challenge brought about by artificial intelligence, technological advances and online offerings. The obvious counter is the expansion of the scope of optometry. Optometrists should be taking their rightful place in the primary care frontline of health care. In this issue, we have placed the spotlight on some practitioners who have attained the title, “Optometrists with Ocular Therapeutics”. They shared with us the challenges they had to face to get this qualification, as well as the benefits that resulted from it. There is a huge gap between primary and specialist eye care in terms of resource and cost. It is pleasing to note how optometrists with therapeutics, have managed to alleviate the pressure in public hospitals and bring better care to patients in private practice. From Vision’s perspective, we hope to inspire more optometrists to take on this challenge.
Editor in Chief