With both patients' expectations and the number of elective procedures available to them increasing, it is important for physicians to accurately communicate with patients to enable them to make informed treatment decisions.
The time taken in the practice to explain ophthalmic procedures can be significant, and it is important that education be delivered consistently for appropriate informed consent. New animated, three-dimensional (3-D) patient education software, Captiv8 (Optimed Ltd.), is designed to enhance eye care physicians' communication with their patients. Specialists can engage with patients and enable them to access informational content outside the clinic.
Using 3-D animations that provide information on ocular conditions and clinical and surgical procedures, Captiv8 offers practitioners a platform for communicating with patients—be it chair-side, in the waiting area, or in the patient's home.
The Captiv8 chair-side module (Figure 1) allows the eye care provider to select an animation and have it play in full (with captions and voiceover in the preferred language). The clinician can perform other tasks while the patient watches the content, or he or she can comment as it plays.
The clinician can also interact with the content using a toolbar (Figure 2) that breaks the animation into short segments categorized so as to mimic the practice's workflow.
For example, in animations of multifocal IOLs, the toolbar shows a breakdown of the discussion starting with “overview.” Clicking this button displays a 3-D animation of the development of a cataract. The reduction in contrast as the cataract progresses is discussed, and IOL designs for the correction of presbyopia are explained.
As part of informed consent, the eye care provider must discuss potential complications associated with procedures. The toolbar allows the user to select complications such as posterior capsular opacification and its treatment. By navigating a related animations menu, other content that may be related to the discussion can be displayed. All of the material is generic without any reference to specific manufacturers (although the clinician may be able to distinguish the different lenses).
As part of the consultation, the clinician may wish to interact with the content. The Captiv8 platform allows the eye care provider to draw over animations to emphasize the message to the patient (Figure 2).
The Captiv8 chair-side communication software can be installed on a desktop or laptop computer or an iPad (Apple, Inc.). The iPad is popular in medicine due to its portability, touchscreen, and processor performance. The software's chair-side app can be downloaded from the App Store (Apple, Inc.) and performs in exactly the same way as the full-sized version.
The software enables a playlist of looped animations (with narratives and captions in 15 languages) to play in the practice's waiting room. Captiv8 also has a web-based content management system (Figure 3), which allows playlists to be created online. Playback automatically switches to the new playlist seamlessly without interruption. Personal images and video can be uploaded into the playlists, and there is a scheduler function so that content can be targeted to specific patients.
Patients Forget 90% of What Is Discussed
The CAPTIV8 software provides a fully branded online resource where clinics can select animations to share with patients (Figure 4). Patients can be e-mailed an animation directly from the consultation that contains a hyperlink to that specific video on the online animation resource. Patients can view other animations from the animation menu, and the animation resource can be personalized with a logo and a link to the practice's website.
MARKETING THE REFRACTIVE PRACTICE
The greatest sources of recommendation for any practice are its own patients, and this is particularly true in refractive and integrated care practices. Patients who have undergone refractive surgery are keen to inform friends and colleagues about their experience, the procedure, and the clinic where the treatment was performed. Captiv8 lets patients share animations with their friends and family (Web Genie; Figure 4). The “Genie” asks patients to recommend the practice by sharing content but goes a step further and asks recommended patients to consider requesting an appointment. The appointment request form collects patients' details and sends an e-mail to the practice.
The management system lets the clinic's administrator create and send e-mail blasts, including content-driven messages targeted to particular segments of patients.
Full Social Media Integration
With more than 1 billion people registered on Facebook1 and half a billion on Twitter,2 social media has changed the way people communicate. The Captiv8 social media integration allows patients to recommend a practice with one mouse click. Clicking “like” or “tweet” allows patients to post a link to an animation and a copy of the practice's logo to their Facebook or Twitter pages. On average, each Facebook user has 120 friends; therefore every time someone clicks the “like” button there is significant exposure for the clinic.3
The Proof Is in the Metrics
Effective marketing requires a robust tool to measure performance. The CAPTIV8 management system includes a personalized marketing dashboard (Figure 5). A variety of key performance indicators can be assessed, such as how many patients are viewing animations and how many patients are recommending the clinic.
As a surgeon, I believe that CAPTIV8 offers a complete patient communication system with the options of discussing procedures with patients myself, sending them the information we have discussed, and marketing my practice in the waiting room and online. I believe that this software has enhanced my interaction with patients and that they achieve a much fuller understanding of ophthalmic procedures. The system also facilitates informed consent.
Sunil Shah, MD, FRCOphth, FRCSE, FBCLA, is a consultant ophthalmologist at Midland Eye, Solihull, United Kingdom. He acknowledged no financial interest in the product or company mentioned herein. Prof. Shah may be reached at email@example.com; +44 121 711 2020.
- Amazon Simple Storage. https://s3.amazonaws.com/onebillionfb/facebook+1+billion+stats.docx. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Tech Crunch. http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/31/twitter-may-have-500m-users-but-only-170m-are-active- 75-on-twitters-own-clients/. Accessed March 25, 2013.
- Marlow C. Facebook. Maintained Relationships on Facebook 2009. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_ id=55257228858. Accessed March 25, 2013.