3D eye scans with OCT technology allow Specsavers optometrists to see into the eye like never before


Specsavers, an optometrist-owned and -led business, gears up to open its first six stores in Alberta over the next month, making the technology that is proven to have a measurable impact on early detection of eye diseases accessible to Albertans. Specsavers uses Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology as part of every standard eye exam, and all Specsavers locations are equipped with the latest imaging and clinical technology for comprehensive eye exams, such as 3D eye scans through hospital-grade OCT technology.

Initial measurement of patient outcomes in British Columbia has shown that 34% of patients who were assessed by a Specsavers optometrist using OCT technology had signs of glaucoma or diabetes-related eye disease identified*.

“We know that one-in-three Albertans haven’t had an eye exam in over three yearsi. Now is the time to take eye health more seriously,” said Naomi Barber, Director of Optometry at Specsavers Canada. “Seventy-five per cent of vision loss can be prevented if detected early by an optometrist. Regular eye exams can also play a role in identifying other significant health conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes. They are critical to overall health and well-being.”

The 3D eye scan, which only takes a few seconds, allows optometrists to assess the intricate structures of the eyes to detect conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma. Including this technology for Albertans as part of every standard eye exam is integral to achieving the Specsavers goal of making eyecare more accessible to Canadians.

The Specsavers approach of including OCT as part of every standard eye exam in other markets, such as Australia, has had significant impact on detection rates of early signs of sight-threatening disease glaucoma, leading to the diagnosis and treatment required to save the sight of over 32,000 Australians last year.

“We are excited to introduce Albertans to the exceptional, community-driven eyecare and the high-quality, affordable eyewear offerings that Specsavers provides,” said Bill Moir, Managing Director of Specsavers Canada. “The upcoming six Alberta locations will be part of 200 clinics opening in Canada by 2024, all equipped with OCT technology.”

Earlier this year, the company announced an investment of $25 million into Alberta to open 50 high-tech optometry clinics and optical stores in the province by 2024. Specsavers has begun opening its stores in phases across Alberta, with the first few stores opening in EdmontonLethbridgeCalgary and St. Albert over the coming weeks.

“We look forward to delivering better care to more people and measuring the impact of this systematic approach to preventative eye care for Albertans,” added Moir.

Alberta Store Openings:

The following store openings are planned in Alberta over the coming few weeks, with more to come:

  • Edmonton
    • Sherwood Park Mall – Open
    • Mill Woods Town Centre – September 21, 2022
  • Lethbridge
    • Park Place – Open
  • Calgary
    • Chinook Centre – Coming Soon
    • Market Mall – September 22, 2022
  • St. Albert
    • St. Albert Centre Mall – September 19, 2022

As each store opens, Specsavers will be making announcements on its Facebook page, and bookings can be made through the website at Specsavers.ca.

*OCT Data:

From a sample of 8,200 British Columbians assessed by an independent optometrist through Specsavers between November 2021 and May 2022, 34% had an eye disease detected or managed through use of OCT. This is based on the medical criteria for billing OCT through MSP (Medical Services Plan). Within this data set, 23.5% of patients detected and managed glaucoma, and 10.5% detected and managed diabetic retinopathy.

About Specsavers:

Founded in the U.K. nearly 40 years ago by optometrist husband and wife team Doug and Mary Perkins, there are now more than 2,500 Specsavers healthcare businesses across 11 countries serving 41 million patients and customers. The brand announced its launch in Canada in 2021 and plans to open more than 200 locally owned stores across Canada by 2024. Specsavers is driven by its purpose of “changing lives through better sight” and aims to transform the way Canadians see accessible eyecare by offering exceptional service, clinical equipment and expertise, as well as affordable and quality eyewear.