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Are you ready for 3D scanning?

Published on 6th November 2018 - Last update on 7th November 2018

You want to offer your patients the best when it comes to eye care and 3D technology allows you to view the eye in more detail than ever before. But how can you afford it in your practice?

3D Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is usually only seen in hospital eye departments. OCT is an imaging technique that uses coherent light to capture micrometer-resolution, two- and three-dimensional images based on low-coherence interferometry, using a completely safe laser light source  - not x-ray radiation.

The relatively long wavelength light allows it to penetrate into the eye producing a structural scan, including layers of the eye that would not normally be visible using traditional eye testing techniques.

The system electronically detects, collects, processes and stores these scans and creates a cross-sectional image of the retina. It can perform linear, area and volumetric measurements, display the results onto the monitor for immediate evaluation and store them for future reference.

Ophthalmologists have compared the results to an ultrasound or MRI scan, in that it creates multiple scan slice images that are built up to form a total image. It lets you look at the eye in more detail than ever before and examine each level of the retina in detail.

This means that it can provide advance warning of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

“Diabetic retinopathy is on the increase – so is glaucoma. This makes it easier for us to spot the warning signs before the condition develops.”

This new 3D scanning technique allows you to provide a diagnostic power on a routine basis that would previously have needed a hospital visit. It could help you save patients’ sight - the sooner you can detect these conditions, the faster you can refer your patients for treatment.

It also means that you can offer an important new service in your practice.

Building customer loyalty

You can run a full OCT scan in just a few seconds as part of your regular testing regime. It is non-contact and so entirely painless.

Not only does it let you see the condition inside the eye, but you can make a record of every scan on every visit – helping you see any changes, track the development of any conditions and provide ongoing monitoring of eye health.

Having a record of any changes, and being able to check them in this way, can be a powerful additional reason for customers to come in on a regular basis – and for you to retain their business.

“Having OCT into our practice not only lets us provide advanced care for our clients – it is particularly important for answering the needs of today's ageing population”

Looking for ways to grow your opticians practice? Want to offer your patients the best in comprehensive care whilst improving your bottom line? Find out how opticians like you can access finance.

What about the costs?

A small number of practices have been using OCT systems for almost ten years, but world-leading names in optical technology, such as Zeiss and Leica, are now producing OCT systems suitable for opticians to use in smaller, high street practices.

With some franchises already including OCT as part of their testing repertoire, it looks as though the rest of the profession will be following their example to maintain the highest standards of care.

But what is the best way to afford this type of equipment? At Rangewell we have a number of solutions.

As a professional with your own practice, it would be easy enough for you to simply borrow the sums required. Lenders of all kinds, from traditional banks to the most innovative alternative lenders, will recognise your status and that you provide an excellent credit risk. This means that any lending they offer you will be safe and highly profitable for them.

They will even compete for the chance to lend to you by offering attractive rates.

But, although you may find that you have plenty of choice when it comes to lenders, it is important to get the right kind of lending.

Solutions for your practice

An Unsecured Business Loan can be used in any way that you wish, and could let you cover the cost of an OCT system. However, we have found that this type of funding may not always be the most cost-effective solution for your particular needs.

A better answer can often be provided by Asset Finance. Asset Finance covers a number of funding types with one important thing in common. The finance is secured on the equipment itself. This means that if you were unable to make repayments, the lender would simply take it away.

This ensures that the lender has very little risk of losing out and can, therefore, make the rates they charge for the lending lower.

The simplest form of Asset Finance is Hire Purchase, which is simply a way of spreading the cost of buying over up to five years. However, for buying advanced equipment - such as an OCT system - it may not be the best solution. It means that you run the risk of being left with equipment that is obsolete even before the final payment is made.

Leasing could offer a much more forward-thinking solution.

Leases work much like a rental agreement and let you bring in the equipment you need and use it without having to buy it outright. The finance company buys the asset, and the user pays the finance company each month for using it. It remains their property, and the finance company can take responsibility for maintenance and repairs - making it particularly suitable for high technology equipment. It also makes it very easy to upgrade to the latest model when the time comes.

What about equipment suppliers’ finance?

Equipment suppliers will often offer finance to help secure a sale. Their finance plans can be tempting, but you may be able to save money by asking for a cash price and arranging the finance yourself.

At Rangewell, we help many opticians - and other professionals - undercut suppliers by finding the most cost-effective lenders from the entire UK market.

If you are considering 3D OCT scanning for your practice, it could be time to discover what a leasing solution could do for you. Contact us at Rangewell to discuss how we can cut the cost of giving your clients the standards of eye care they need.

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Richard Mitchell

Richard Mitchell

Content writer
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