A snapshot of the Marlo app, which allows patients to order contact lenses virtually from their ECP.
A snapshot of the Marlo app, which allows patients to order contact lenses virtually from their ECP. Click image to enlarge.

To let contact lens wearers take advantage of the convenience of online product ordering while still keeping eyecare providers equipped to ensure a healthy experience, Alcon introduced a web-based fulfillment platform called Marlo in 2020. The company just released a new iPhone app for Marlo that adds new features to give patients and practitioners a better experience, Alcon says. The app debuted yesterday at the annual SECO conference.

The Marlo app allows patients to order contact lenses, receive exam reminders, access educational resources, track their next appointment and—if the practitioner agrees to enable it—use a vision screener to test their visual acuity in real-world environments outside the doctor’s office. Contact lenses fulfilled through Marlo are shipped directly to the patient. Alcon OTC products like Pataday and its contact lens solutions can also be ordered through Marlo.

Practices can customize the patient interface with their name, logo and some color palette choices to help create the impression that the app is an extension of the doctor’s care. Individuals who come upon the app on their own can use it to find an Alcon-affiliated doctor to see.

The basic tier of the service—online ordering, direct shipping, exam reminders and product discounts—is free to practices and allows 24/7 online ordering, while a Pro level adds the customized app interface branding, the vision screener and the inclusion of Alcon OTC product sales, for a charge to the practice of $25/mo or $250/yr.

Given practitioners’ misgivings about digital acuity testing services, Alcon stressed that the vision screening tool is not a VA tester per se; rather, it’s intended to be an awareness-raising tool that stresses the importance of a comprehensive eye exam to patients. The patient gets general feedback on their quality of vision, but not an Rx, and a recommendation to book an appointment for an eye exam.

At a press briefing during SECO, Alcon said that it currently has 6,500 eyecare practitioners and 1.5 million patients using Marlo. The iPhone version of the Marlo app is available now for download in Apple’s App store; an Android version is on the way, Alcon says.

For more information, visit alcon.com.