Once upon a time, I felt very confident that the biggest nerds I knew were all optometrists.
But now, nerds are everywhere. Nerds have not only inherited the earth, they have completely redefined nerdiness by making it the coolest thing ever. My high school slide rule, however impressive, is lame compared to the technology today’s nerds have at their fingertips. No matter what you need these days, there is an app for that.
Recently I saw where you can do things like take anterior segment photos and do VA testing with your telephone. There are apps for that.
This intrigued me, so I sent out my stellar techno detective team to find all the ways that optometry has been affected, good and bad, by the apps available or in development. You’d be amazed at what they found.
Did you know…
• Your patient can text her friends during the eye exam? Seriously, I know it’s true because I just examined a 16-year-old who did just that. When I asked her to put down the phone for a second, I received the following text: “UH, NO.”
Hope she enjoys her new glasses that I added -1.50 to on her left eye so she would have a headache that lasts the whole school year ... Just kidding! Although, for her privacy, I left the room until 3:00 p.m. the following day.
• You can watch a movie while examining a patient? Just be careful that you don’t scream “OH, MY GAWD! NO!” at the wrong moment. Kinda freaks out the patient.
• You can dilate the patient with your phone? Just show them a picture that gets them all happy and giggly. In my town, a shot of any triple burger will do it.
• You can create a startling, high pitched noise that will make the dog outside the exam room experience such oto-pain that it has to shut up immediately. FYI, do not use this app if your patient is under age 26. For some reason it makes their tear ducts explode.
• You can use the flashlight app to see what’s going on when the electricity goes out during a thunderstorm. As our office is totally computerized, the “applight” allows us to guide the patients to the door and then you can use the cell phone to call and cancel all of your remaining scheduled patients. These two steps are important because as soon as you finish canceling your day’s schedule, it makes the electricity come back on immediately.
• You can set your phone to randomly text your staff to tell them to get off their damn cell phones and back to freakin’ work! (Of course, since we have totally banned cell phones in the office, they only check their cell phones once or twice every 30 minutes. This gives them more time to use our $40,000 computer system to check YouTube and Facebook.)
• There’s this app that lets you track your car so you can see where it has been and you probably should not tell your wife about this app unless you can convince her that Big Bertha’s is a church.
• There’s this app that allows you to take a picture of someone and then bend it to make it look really weird. I use this to demonstrate astigmatism and also to show patients what they look like when they buy glasses at the mall.
• There’s an app that lets you combine all your optometry apps into one giant app that climbs the Empire State Building and fights WWI-era biplanes. (I apologize. I made that one up.)
In your spare time you should check out all the apps that you can. When the whole world falls into the ocean, all you really have is your apps anyway. Keep your eye on what’s important. That’s my app-inion anyway.