Take an eye exam using your smartphone

An inexpensive eye exam in the comfort of your home? That's what one Chicago company is promising.

Optometrist and 'Opternative' co-founder Dr. Steven Lee came up with the idea years ago when a patient asked if there was an easier way to take an eye exam.

The program, which is registered with the FDA, took three years to create.

"We've seen over fifteen hundred patients. In that time, we've developed a technology that is clinically proven to be statistically equivalent to the traditional eye exam done in the office," said Opternative CEO Aaron Dallek.

Using a smartphone and computer, a patient can complete the test in 25 minutes or less.

"We've essentially turned your computer into a digital eye chart, kind of like what you have in the doctor's office," said Dallek. "You cover one eye and based on what you see on that screen, you answer some simple multiple choice questions and our test does the rest."

The questions are answered using prompts on a smartphone. When the test is complete, the patient pays $40 dollars and within 24 hours receives a prescription from a registered ophthalmologist.

Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, with the Illinois College of Optometry, cautions patients, though, about skipping a visit to the eye doctor.

"We certainly measure and test for glasses and contact lenses, but that's just a small portion of the full eye exam. We can actually diagnose diabetes in the eye, high blood pressure, as well as other systemic and metabolic problems that the patient may not know that they have."

'Opternative' does not allow patients with certain pre existing health conditions to complete the test.

Right now, the test is available for 18 to 40 year old's.

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