Afflelou’s teleconsultation service attracts the wrath of ophthalmologists

Examination room and refraction and screening devices, at the Alain Afflelou optical store in Ouistreham, October 20, 2022. Afflelou

A union believes that this is an unhealthy “compagny” between doctors and opticians.

A teleconsultation service at the heart of optical stores? For the Afflelou brand, the objective is to facilitate access to eye care in medical deserts, where 200 of its 900 stores in France are located. A way of course to generate more in-store traffic. Incidentally, the network achieves a real marketing “coup” since it is a first in the optics. But this initiative, which has been tested in five points of sale and will be gradually rolled out nationally, has made ophthalmologists jump. “It is a case of cooperation between doctors and opticians, prohibited by the public health code”plague Thierry Bour, the president of the National Union of Ophthalmologists of France (Snof).

“The teleconsultation takes place in a confidential room dedicatedresponds a spokesperson for Afflelou, which has entered into a partnership with the operator Medadom. The optician does not intervene in the teleconsultation and has no relationship with the ophthalmologist. Snof believes that if patients are not forced after the teleconsultation to buy their glasses from Afflelou, the device leaves them little choice. He also deplores the absence of a real course of care, lack of follow-up by the doctor once the session has been carried out. Finally, the union questions the usefulness of such a device, the delays in obtaining an appointment with the ophthalmologist in an under-resourced area having fallen by 50% in two years, and France being the European country where the largest number of glasses are sold (20 million pairs per year). It is now up to the patients to decide.


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