3D eye scans with OCT technology allow Specsavers optometrists to see into the eye like never before.

15 September, 2022

OCT scan

Specsavers, an optometrist-owned and -led business, gears up to open its first six stores in Alberta over the next month, making the technology that is proven to have a measurable impact on early detection of eye diseases accessible to Albertans. Specsavers uses Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology as part of every standard eye exam, and all Specsavers locations are equipped with the latest imaging and clinical technology for comprehensive eye exams, such as 3D eye scans through hospital-grade OCT technology.

Initial measurement of patient outcomes in British Columbia has shown that 34% of patients who were assessed by a Specsavers optometrist using OCT technology had signs of glaucoma or diabetes-related eye disease identified*.

“We know that one-in-three Albertans haven't had an eye exam in over three years[i]. Now is the time to take eye health more seriously,” said Naomi Barber, Director of Optometry at Specsavers Canada. “Seventy-five per cent of vision loss can be prevented if detected early by an optometrist. Regular eye exams can also play a role in identifying other significant health conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes. They are critical to overall health and well-being.”

The 3D eye scan, which only takes a few seconds, allows optometrists to assess the intricate structures of the eyes to detect conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma. Including this technology for Albertans as part of every standard eye exam is integral to achieving the Specsavers goal of making eyecare more accessible to Canadians.

The Specsavers approach of including OCT as part of every standard eye exam in other markets, such as Australia, has had significant impact on detection rates of early signs of sight-threatening disease glaucoma, leading to the diagnosis and treatment required to save the sight of over 32,000 Australians last year.

“We are excited to introduce Albertans to the exceptional, community-driven eyecare and the high-quality, affordable eyewear offerings that Specsavers provides,” said Bill Moir, Managing Director of Specsavers Canada. “The upcoming six Alberta locations will be part of 200 clinics opening in Canada by 2024, all equipped with OCT technology.”

Earlier this year, the company announced an investment of $25 million into Alberta to open 50 high-tech optometry clinics and optical stores in the province by 2024. Specsavers has begun opening its stores in phases across Alberta, with the first few stores opening in Edmonton, Lethbridge, Calgary, and St. Albert over the coming weeks.

“We look forward to delivering better care to more people and measuring the impact of this systematic approach to preventative eye care for Albertans,” added Moir.

OCT Data:

From a sample of 8,200 British Columbians assessed by an independent optometrist through Specsavers between November 2021 and May 2022, 34% had an eye disease detected or managed through use of OCT. This is based on the medical criteria for billing OCT through MSP (Medical Services Plan). Within this data set, 23.5% of patients detected and managed glaucoma, and 10.5% detected and managed diabetic retinopathy.

[i] Research Co. (2022, February). Canadian EyeHealth [Survey].