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Spotting Hot Optometry Trends Shaping the Future of the Eye Care Industry

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As 2017 nears its end, it’s time to examine a few optometry trends to expect in 2018 poised to continue shaping and redefining the future of optometry. Continue reading to learn more about a few emerging optometry trends destined to shape the future of optometry.

The Millennial Optometry Trends

For several years, baby boomers have been a core safe haven for optometrists. Even though this group will continue to be the fastest-growing segment in many practices, millennials represent the new emerging demographic.

According to the 2016 EB Market Trends report, most respondents suggest that baby boomers still account for up to 36% of their patients. However, millennials represent 25% of the patient base, and this percentage is destined to grow.

As a result, it may be a perfect time for you to review how you position your practice. Does it speak to millennials? What can you do to begin transitioning your brand strategy, approach, and marketing efforts to truly attract and speak to millennials.

Growth in Global Ophthalmic Diagnostic Equipment

Today, over 560 ophthalmic diagnostic products are available to hospitals, ophthalmologists, and optometrists worldwide. According to Market Scope’s 2017 Ophthalmic Diagnostic Equipment Report: A Global Market Analysis for 2016 to 2022; the global ophthalmic diagnostic equipment market is projected to grow and topple $4 billion in manufacturer revenues by the year 2022.

This growth is projected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% over the next five years. The majority of this growth is expected to come as a result of the demand for the latest and most cutting-edge technology, such as:

Other factors contributing to this growth include an increasing global population, advances in treatment, expanding elderly population, earlier diagnosis, and improvements to access in eye care in developing countries.

Increasing Number of Women in Optometry

The shift in the profession’s demographics toward women has been gradually occurring and this optometry trend will continue. In 2017, women made up 39% of the American Optometric Association (AOA) members and 38% of the profession. Today, anywhere from 65% up to 75% of optometry students are women.

Even though around 74% of optometry practice owners are men, you can expect the number of female business owners to grow as well. These women optometry students will go on to become skilled optometrists and practice owners.

Social Media

Whether you like it or not, social media is a booming business, and it looks as if it’s here to stay. According to the Eyecare Business 2014 Annual Market Trends Study, almost half of eye care professionals say their business or practice has an active Twitter account or Facebook page.

However, only 30% of these business post on a regular basis (a minimum of once a week) while 6% of businesses post every day. An additional 30% of business owners and practitioners report they post occasionally.

Even though the study doesn’t call out Google+, it’s one of the more effective ways to gain search engine benefits and favorable positioning on the search engine results page (SERP). Simply put, the more positive Google + reviews you have from your clients, the faster you’ll move to the first page of the SERP, which means more clients will be able to find you.

Where Is Wearable Technology in the Future of Optometry?

According to a survey conducted by Eyecare Professionals, 43% of eyecare professionals think wearable technology can become a useful dispensing tool, while approximately 27% view it as a viable new revenue stream.

Although these are just opinions, if everyone thinks wearables will become prevalent, perhaps they’re onto something — or maybe not. In either case, it may be worth checking out and learning more about wearable technology.

At best, it can create a competitive advantage for your practice and differentiate your practice from an already crowded market. If wearable technology is indeed the new “it” thing to impact the industry, you can be ahead of the curve and trend.  

Contact Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments

For more than 100 years, Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments has been a leader providing cutting-edge equipment to help optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other eye care professionals deliver the best results coupled with the highest possible level of service. In addition to our equipment, we are thought leaders providing innovative solutions to help you run and manage your eye care practice with the highest level of efficiency.  

Contact Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments today.

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.