Digital transformation of the vision exam

Through the centuries, vision exams have benefited from the advent of the Snellen chart for visual acuity testing, the phoropter and autorefractor for refraction exams. Today, online vision tests are becoming more common with the help of a smartphone.

Ground-breaking technology has brought us from the Big Dipper to the mobile phone. 

The vision test in ancient times was based on the identification of constellations in the night sky. A common basic test used the double star of the Big Dipper—the second star from the end of the “handle” is an optical double star.  

The ability to perceive the separation of those two stars, Mizar and Alcor, was one of the first visual acuity tests, now known as the Arab Eye Test

Coming forward through the centuries, vision exams have benefited from the advent of the Snellen chart (the traditional eye chart with letters progressively getting smaller) for visual acuity testing, the phoropter and autorefractor for refraction—and now the smartphone for online vision testing.  

Online vision tests

Visual acuity test

A growing number of online glasses retailers are offering a “virtual vision test”—most commonly resulting in a renewal of their current prescription. These exams are usually based on a visual acuity test conducted with the user wearing their current glasses or contacts.  

A visual acuity test measures how clearly a user sees. If this type of acuity check using current eyewear verifies that the user can see well with their current prescription, a prescription renewal can be issued after results are reviewed by an eye care professional (ECP). 

Some local regulations require a current prescription in order to buy prescription glasses or contact lenses.  

If a customer sees well with their current prescription but needs to renew it to shop for glasses or contacts, they can use myRx Renewal Exam to quickly get an updated prescription issued by a licensed ECP.  

Other visual acuity tests (like myRx Acuity Check) provide a pass/fail result, prompting one of the following:  

  • Pass: gives customers the confidence to shop online with their current prescription  
  • Fail: recommendation to schedule an appointment for an eye exam to update their prescription 

Subjective refraction exam 

Determining if someone has a refractive error—and therefore in need of a vision adjustment—has been much more difficult to translate to a digital experience. However, a solution is now available for established single-vision glasses and contact lens wearers to obtain a new prescription using only their smartphone.  

Last year, Luna was thrilled to unveil myRx Refraction Exam, the first online subjective refraction exam that enables users to get a new ECP-approved prescription using only a mobile phone. This ground-breaking technology combines deep knowledge of optic physics and eye biology with the latest mobile device technology to create a clinically accurate online solution.    

Creating convenience by unblocking the challenges of working hours and geography, myRx Refraction Exam is positioned to change not only how patients obtain new prescriptions, but also how ECPs can prescribe them.  

Of course, online acuity tests and vision exams are no substitute for regular eye health visits with a doctor. They are vision-specific and cannot check for health conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, infections, or injuries.  

Bringing online vision tests to life 

Luna’s suite of ground-breaking technologies not only changes the way customers can test their vision and obtain new prescriptions, but it also changes how online eyewear retailers and ECPs provide value to customers and patients.  

Whether you’re an eyewear eCommerce retailer looking to enhance your online store or an ECP looking to drive more appointments, our team of vision experts can offer more insight into how our vision solutions can improve your business or practice. 

To learn more about our technologies, schedule a private demo with a vision expert today.  


Forward-looking eyewear retailers choose Luna