App for at-home eye exams offers convenience—at a price

No more excuses for forgetting to schedule an appointment with the eye doctor. There’s now an app that brings the eye exam to you.

The Blink app lets users make an appointment for a technician to visit their home or office to perform basic screening tests. The results are then sent to an eye doctor, who delivers a prescription to the patient within 24 hours.

While the app’s creators tout its ability to save time, some experts don’t think it’s worth the risk. While technicians are specially trained, they don’t have the same expertise that medical personnel can offer at a doctor’s office.

Marc Werner is an Ophthalmologist at Stahl Eye Center in New York City. He said the app’s convenience may lead users to falsely think their eyes are healthy.

“There are many eye diseases that can cause loss of vision (glaucoma, macular degeneration), or loss of life (ocular melanoma), which may have no signs or symptoms but can be detected during a thorough eye exam,” Werner said.

The app’s founders created FDA-registered portable eye exam tools similar to those found in an ophthalmologist’s office. Each exam takes roughly 20 minutes and costs $75 per visit. The exams are not covered by insurance.

Werner argued the app is costly, and its convenience is not worth the potential negative consequences.

Users are encouraged to still get regular eye health exams with a doctor who can test for conditions like cataracts or glaucoma.

For now, the app is only available to users in New York City. But the Blink founders plan to expand to other cities in the United States. For more information, visit