One of the most high profile medical health apps of 2011, in the UK at least, has been Boots’ eye care app the Boots Eye App. If you have an iPhone (it is only on the one mobile platform at the moment) you really should download it.
Basically it takes you through a series of tests, which are a microcosm of what you go through at the opticians, and then asks you a few questions about your lifestyle. It then tots up the results and makes a recommendation as to whether you need to go for a proper eye test.
I went through the eye test and was told that while my clearness of vision was fine I was was having trouble seeing colour as it ought to be. This was basically what I was told a year or so ago when I went for my last eye test.
Even though it was accurate in my case it did make me wonder whether the Eye App is really worthwhile or little more than a marketing gimmick. I have concluded that it is probably a bit of both.
Its accuracy made me think that the app is well designed and really does work well. I do however think that if it picks up anything slightly awry in your vision it will suggest you go for an eye check up – which is the whole point I guess. However you have only got to make a small mistake and you’ll be off for your eye test. I suggest that you do the test 2/3 times and compare results before you think about popping into Boots.
Ultimately I think we are going to see a lot more of this type of app from retailers. The issue is that no one is going to pay for an app like this – no matter how clever it is – and the economics of in-app advertising probably mean that its creator would never make money from it, so that leaves it to brands to bring apps like this to market.
So what do you think cynical marketing move or a genuine attempt to improve the nation’s eyesight?