Foresight: A discussion of the potential impact of technology on the UK optical sector to 2030


Healthcare professionals need to consider the impact technology is having on public access to information, diagnostics, understanding and behaviour. Technology provides an opportunity to upskill and signpost the public, for people to actively participate in their health and wellbeing and enable professionals to deal with health needs that truly require their specialist skills. 

New technologies mean that with the guidance of eye health professionals, prevention, promotion and treatment can be embedded in the local community. But this needs to be prepared for, planned and managed in order to harness the potential and create long-term affordable and sustainable services. 

Looking ahead

Exponential growth of digital technology and fast-evolving demographics are altering the expectations and habits of consumers, businesses and NHS service providers. The pace of change is almost overwhelming, with automation of professional testing and measurement, DIY-health opportunities for the public, vast online resources and services, and the emancipation of research information. And yet, many of the practices and models of the optical professions have remained largely unchanged for decades. In the words of John F. Kennedy, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

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Published: March 2016