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Great Apps for the Optometrist – ED

As they say, there is an App for everything these days. However, when I embarked on research into Eye Apps, I was pleasantly surprised to find how many excellent Apps there were. The Apps mentioned below all have a very useful practical application in the clinical setting.

The Apple App Store was launched ten years ago and today there are approximately two million Apps available for every conceivable need. It’s no surprise Apple trademarked the slogan, “There’s an app for that!”

There are hundreds of Apps available in the eye care space, but I have selected a few, which I consider to be particularly usefull to the optometrist with the swipe of the finger tips.

Eye Handbook


Cost: Free
Available: Android and iOS
This app is comprehensive in the true sense of the word. If you need a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment reference app dedicated to eye care providers, look no further. It is hard to do justice in describing this app because it has everything. It features calculators for glaucoma risk, diopter to radius conversion, and crossed cylinder. For patient testing, an optometrist can choose colour vision, contrast sensitivity, Amsler grid, optokinetic (OKN) drum, paediatric fixation target, Worth Four Dot, and other tools. The symptoms section provides examples of vision problems associated with certain eye diseases. Videos, audio files, and PowerPoint presentations are also available for educational benefits. All of this for free, so no harm in giving it a go.

Smart Optometry

image009Cost: Free
Available: Android and iOS
The app also contains sixteen tests, including red desaturation, Hirschberg, and aniseikonia. This versatile app is perfect for eye screening and quick diagnosis. It includes a conversion calculator for vertex and visual acuity. Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and programmers created SmartOptometry to make eye tests more interesting. With a bit of practice, optoms can have a convenient tool for viewing the fundus and saving retinal photos. The website provides tips and tutorials to improve imaging skills with the app.

Chromatic Vision Simulator

image011Cost: Free
Available: Android and iOS
This app brings new meaning to the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Most optometrists have been in situations where they are the first to inform the parent that a child is colour blind. Explaining how the child sees colours differently may be challenging.

Chromatic Vision (CV) Simulator simulates colour vision blindness using the camera on a smartphone. Images can be viewed and compared for normal, protanope, deuteranope, and tritanope.

Eye Emergency Manual

image013Cost: Free
Available: Android and iOS

This app is used by Emergency Departments and is a helpful reference. While it is not specific for eye care professionals, it provides valuable information for common eye emergencies when an optometrist may be answering urgent calls from patients in the middle of the night.

Parks 3-Step

image015Cost: $1.99
Available: iOS only

Marshall Parks, MD, was an American ophthalmologist known as the father of paediatric ophthalmology. Dr. Parks’ method for isolating the paretic muscle makes it easier to manage vertical diplopia cases.

Todd Zarwell, OD, the creator of this app, gives it a modern-day upgrade by incorporating the Parks 3 Step method into a user-friendly app. Optometrists no longer need to follow the old-school method of drawing an H with eye muscle locations for each eye.


image017Cost: Free, but requires yearly membership fee
Available: iOS only

Dr. Zarwell cofounded this app with Brian Chou, OD, in 2002. The tool contains a comprehensive database of contact lenses and allows a user to search for certain lens parameters. 

It also features an ophthalmic medication database and calculators for contact lens fittings. Although the app is free, it requires a $48-per-year membership fee to gain access. As an additional bonus, the membership fee includes access to the website version on, including special tools such as Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine, Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc.), Risk Calculators, Incentive Calculator for staff, Park’s Three-Step, CRT Lens Selector, and Patient Education tools. If you don’t want to pay the $48 membership fee to use EyeDock, download the CL Calcs app—also created by Dr. Zarwell.The cost for this light version of EyeDock is $4.99 and includes contact lens calculators.

Optics Clinical Calculator

image020Cost: $4.99
Available: iOS only

Optics Clinical Calculator is an app for optometrists and dispensing opticians. This app contains 11 calculators for optics. Do you need an intermediate prescription at a length the patient precisely measured down to the nearest centimeter? This app will calculate the exact prescription for your patient. Do you have a patient that may need slab-off but you’re not sure if it is necessary? You don’t need to whip out your notes for Prentice’s Rule. Simply enter the glasses prescription and the slab-off calculator will do the rest.



It is an easy to use, fully customisable Text to Speech app that allows you to listen to written text on your Mac. A very useful tool for low vision patients.