Dubai-based healthtech startup ShopDoc is partnering with the US-based CLEAR, a digital eye-care company founded by former NASA optical physicist Brandon Zimmerman, to launch eyeglasses prescription tests in the metaverse.
The metaverse digital eye test project will be rolled out in the UAE and Indian markets in the initial phase, with plans to expand it to other regional markets later.
“Our partnership will harness the power of CLEAR’s algorithmically driven technology to deliver easy and accessible eye testing facilities to users of our metaverse venture – ShopDoc Metaverse,” Shihab Makaniyil, founder of ShopDoc told Arabian Business.
“Basically, we will be replacing optometrists for eye testing through this ground-breaking technology,” Makaniyil said.
The project involves using advanced optical modeling and frontier mathematics to enable an accurate calculation and simulation of customers’ optical prescription and 20/20 visual performance.
Makaniyil, however, said unlike the current metaverse projects, the CLEAR eye test project will not be an entirely a virtual world affair.
“Though we will be introducing the digital eye test through the metaverse, it will not be done 100 percent in the metaverse. It will take customers to a normal web environment where they need to use a computer and get their eye tests done, following certain instructions on the screen to complete the process,” he said.
ShopDoc has already entered into tie-ups with over 100 eye clinics in the UAE as part of its efforts to promote its metaverse digital eye test project in a big way.
Makaniyil said ShopDoc has entered into a financial-cum-technical partnership with CLEAR for the metaverse project.
“The partnership project will operate on a revenue-sharing model,” said Makaniyil, who also has a background in the eye care sector, with 17 years of optical experience in the Middle East, Europe and Australia.
“This innovation can make high quality eye care accessible, affordable and enjoyable for customers, besides shifting the focus of eye care from reactive to proactive,” he said.
He said with human eyesight worsening at a rapid rate, there is a need for sustainable solutions that can help customers and eye care professionals to check and measure vision more frequently and easily.
“This is why combining technology with human optical expertise, to create all-in-one eye care from any device. This is the eye care model of the future,” Makaniyil said.
He said with enhanced customer awareness and appetite for digital eye tests, ShopDoc will lead in providing a fast and convenient way to get new glasses prescriptions.
The digital eye test project will be ShopDoc’s second metaverse project, after the successful launch of its preventive healthcare project for school children – My School Clinix.
“Within ShopDoc Metaverse, we have plans to launch different such projects going forward,” he said.
Reports show consumers find the traditional eye test expensive, inconvenient and time-consuming. As a result, 50 percent of the vision population skips their recommended annual eye test, while an estimated 2.5 billion do not have access to it at all.
Industry experts said the launch of medical applications on the new technology is a welcome move as it showed new and creative ways to use blockchain technology to change our daily lives.