Lithuanian telemedicine company choose Latvia as home, introducing remote eyewear fitting

  • 2019-06-28
  • TBT Staff

The telemedicine company “Smart Vision” has started work in Latvia, offering to order glasses remotely using 3D technology. At the end of the year, the company plans to start providing remote eye screening within its network of stores with the most advanced telemedicine technologies. Latvia has been chosen thanks to the developed Internet as well as a geographical location that is beneficial for exports. In addition to the Baltic States, the export of the service from Riga is planned to be carried out in the Scandinavian and Polish markets.

With the help of 3D technology, Smart Vision has made it possible to try to fit eyeglass frames virtually using smart shopping, as well as to find the most suitable lenses and choose the most suitable lens coatings on platform. Smart Vision as the only one on the market offers a new service to customers – the option of getting the four glasses selected to choose the right ones within a week. There is no extra charge for the delivery and return of the glasses to the customer, moreover the Smart Vision business model allows us to offer quality eyeglass frames and lenses at relatively lower prices than the current market players offer.

As a next step, it is planned to start providing remote vision testing services using remote eye-screening equipment from world leaders in this field. Working on the platform has been accomplished in less than a year, creating a functional and up-to-date eyewear and lens marketing system that meets the latest user experience standards.

"Our ambitions are to combine fast-growing telemedicine services with e-commerce. The platform has been created taking into account all the technology opportunities that are expected to be provided in the near future. The first step we have taken when starting up as a new company - we have created an augmented reality virtual eyewear matching service, making it possible for anyone interested in the Internet environment to try and choose the most suitable eyewear frames for their facial features,” says Ieva Beilina, CEO of Smart Vision.

This innovative platform for telemedicine services was created a year ago by the Lithuanian startup Vision Technologies. Last autumn, Vision Technologies attracted an investment of EUR 200,000 for the creation and development of its system from the venture capital fund Open Circle Capital. The startup also secured an additional EUR 400,000 this spring. The Lithuanian-based start-up company has chosen Riga as its base for the development of the platform. The Smart Vision business plan and strategic vision for systematically increasing sales and developing business outside the region's borders attracted the attention of the managers of the Open Circle venture capital fund.

“A consolidated, innovation-friendly Internet market for such services are the most appropriate for the provision and active development of such services. Not less important is the geographical location of Riga – it will supply the whole Baltic region and continue its development in Scandinavia and Poland. Smart Vision glasses with personally tailored lenses will be delivered to our costumers in just 3 working days, while our prices will be at least 30% lower than those of similar services offered by our market competitors,” the plans are disclosed by Petras Sakalauskas, the founder of Smart Vision.

Currently the company has discovered the first showroom-type store in Riga, but plans to open two other similar stores by the end of the year. “Our goal is to take broad steps towards telemedicine. So far only large optics companies were able to offer eye screening services remotelly, the new generation of 5G mobile services offers us a completely new telemedicine capability. We are targeting this, just the approaching 5G train. The remote eye-screening equipment is supplied to us by the South Korean company Huvitz, which is one of the leaders of this field in the world. By the end of the year, we plan to open two more stores and make it possible for shop visitors to get a visual inspection remotely in conjunction with our optometrist, who will be at our other store at that time,” plans are outlined by I. Beilina.

In 2017 and 2018, glass sales in Western European countries have increased by 30-40 percent annually. Mrs Beilina is convinced that continuing the next phase of the platform will become an integral part of the network of remote vision examination centres where consumers can easily, quickly and reliably check their vision. “It's a future that will become a reality very soon,” says CEO of Smart Vision.

“Distant vision tests have been a reality in developed countries for several years now. An infinitely faster communication and the significantly increased flow of information will also allow the introduction of new-generation medical services in Latvia in the near or distant future, ranging from real-time medical advice to remote visual tests,” explains P. Sakalauskas.