The world is filled with economic imbalances. How is it, in the U.S. that we’ve allowed educators to earn so little and entertainers to earn so much? Why is it acceptable for the costs of emergency medications like an EpiPen to skyrocket out of reach for the majority of families who need to have them on hand and replace them annually?
It was nearly 15 years ago that I discovered another economic imbalance– one that keeps a fairly simple solution out of the hands of those in need, partially because of inaccessibility and partially because of incredibly inflated margins.
It is estimated that more than sixty percent of the world’s population are vision impaired. Hundreds of millions of people, adults and children, are challenged daily by the discomfort and struggle of normal tasks like reading, studying, working and caring for their family. In fact, the global economic cost of lost work productivity due to people with poor vision has been estimated at 700 billion dollars per year.
Refractive error, which eyeglasses correct, is the number one cause of vision impairment in the world. Yet for many families in many countries, access to an optometrist is limited, if not non-existent, and the costs associated with obtaining corrective eyeglasses is not affordable and sometimes not even available.
In 2002, I set out to correct one part of the equation by making extremely affordable, corrective prescription eyeglasses accessible to everyone. As founder and CEO of Zenni Optical, I started a company dedicated to delivering low-cost, starting at $6.95, high-quality, great looking eyeglasses. Now, Zenni is the largest online-retailer fulfilling over 10,000 eyeglass orders per day in the US and worldwide.
Now, I am proud to introduce a solution to the other part of the excessive cost of the prescription eyeglass equation, the eyeglass prescription. EyeQue will enable anyone, anywhere in the world to self-administer an accurate refractive measurement test. The silicon valley based team at EyeQue has developed a cloud-based architecture, designed a patented testing platform, and manufactured a very low-cost consumer device that will modernize and democratize the eyeglass eye exam. EyeQue will disrupt an industry that has been dispensing this service, at very high cost and low accessibility, withe the same device and methodology for the past 150 years. The team has developed an incredibly low-cost optical device and powerful mobile application that provides refractive error measurements as accurate or more accurate than that of traditional equipment. Using a smartphone, the test takes about 5 minutes and results are processed, revealed, and stored instantly in the cloud. With our advancements in technology, the mobility of the testing platform, and the commitment to affordable vision solutions, EyeQue will empower people all over the world to finally easily access and inexpensively correct their vision.
We hope to have an imminent positive impact on peoples’ lives worldwide.
I encourage you to keep an eye on our progress and join us on this journey.