"ZEISS VISUCORE 500 – a Simple-to-Use, Time- and Space-Saving Refraction System"

Objective and subjective visual acuity test in a single unit

17 October 2023

Interview published: October 2023

ZEISS VISUCORE 500 is a time- and space-saving refraction unit, which compensates for the lack of experienced staff. Jens Bernhard, refraction expert at ZEISS Vision Care, gives background on the development of this instrument and explains why the purchase for eye care professionals is worth it.

Interview with Jens Bernhard, Global Product Manager and refraction expert at ZEISS Vision Care

 Jens Bernhard, refraction expert at ZEIS Vision Care

We wanted to develop a combined objective and subjective refraction unit which would provide a more efficient refraction for the eye care professional and the customer.

Jens Bernhard

Refraction expert at ZEIS Vision Care

What led to the development of ZEISS VISUCORE 500?

ZEISS VISUCORE 500 was developed to solve various challenges eye care professionals are facing today. Rents are becoming higher, especially in cities and metropolitan areas. Also, the question of time is becoming more important. Measuring the eyes prescription often takes so long that there is not much time left for lens consultation. A further point is that it is difficult to find trained staff. These challenges inspired us to create a new type of system. We wanted to develop a combined objective and subjective refraction unit which would provide a more efficient refraction for the eye care professional and the customer. The result is ZEISS VISUCORE 500 – a combined simple-to-use, time- and space-saving refraction system.

Does the device replace other systems in which the objective and refractive visual acuity test is conducted separately?

The combination of both visual acuity tests makes it possible to dispense with an entire refraction room. However, it always depends on the application. If very little space is available, ZEISS VISUCORE 500 offers a first-rate option for reliable refractions. If saving space is less important, the system can also be purchased as an addition to existing refraction systems. This enables the eye care professional to serve more customers.

ZEISS VISUCORE 500 – a Simple-to-Use, Time- and Space-Saving Refraction System

ZEISS VISUCORE 500 is smaller than 1 m² and has a space requirement of only 4 m² in the optical store.

Usually, a distance of about five meters is required for the subjective eye test. How is it possible to simulate this distance in such a compact system?

Not every eye care professional has sufficient space in the store to construct a refraction room of five meters long. Many optical stores solve this problem by halving the required distance using a mirror. We apply the same principle in ZEISS VISUCORE 500 and multiply it with several mirrors and a lens. The outcome is that it simulates a distance of five meters.

Are there differences compared to a real distance of five meters?

Working in conjunction with the ZEISS Vision Science Lab at the University of Tübingen, we conducted a comparative study of 33 participants and six optometrists. In this study ZEISS VISUCORE 500 was compared with conventional subjective refraction systems. The results from the short distance did not differ from those of the long distance. The measurement is therefore equally precise and equal in quality.

Normally, the eyes are measured one after the other during objective refraction. With ZEISS VISUCORE 500, the measurement is binocular, so both eyes are measured at the same time. What are the benefits?

People usually use both eyes to see. Through binocular measurement, we come closest to peoples’s natural vision. We also display the target image to the customer at a greater distance. This way we can monitor the accommodation better. A further advantage is that measuring both eyes at the same time is faster, thus saving time.

Binocular refraction with ZEISS VISUCORE 500

In addition to the subjective measurement, the device also performs the objective measurement binocularly.

The time saved by ZEISS VISUCORE 500 has an important part to play. It's time for some numbers. How long does the visual acuity test take compared with objective and subjective measurements using separate instruments?

The average time needed for both measurements takes less than five minutes. This compares with an average of about eight minutes for standard refraction. However, the time needed for the refraction depends on the mode selected. In the Guided Mode the process is focused and consistent across different users.

In addition to the Guided Mode, there is also the Workflow and the Freestyle Mode. Why do you have three different control modes?

The basic concept for the software comes from ZEISS VISUPHOR 500 and ZEISS VISUSCREEN 100/500 which can be operated in the Workflow and Freestyle Mode. The Workflow Mode is standardized in the refraction process and several processes are automated. This saves time and guarantees consistent measurement results. The Freestyle Mode is particularly useful when special measurements must be taken, or certain details checked. However, these two modes can only be operated by optometrists, as the optometrist's entire knowledge of refraction is needed to operate them.

We developed the Guided Mode so that even users with little background knowledge can operate the visual acuity test. This mode includes an intelligent control system that guides the user through the entire refraction process. The system automatically arranges all necessary settings, for example the size of the characters or the strengths of the lenses available to the customer. Even the questions put to the customer are pre-determined. If inconsistencies occur, for example because the customer has complex visual issues, the system reports a warning instead of results. This ensures that the test readings are reliable. In such cases an eye care professional should be consulted.

Why should ZEISS VISUCORE 500 be used in an optical store?

ZEISS VISUCORE 500 is simple to operate and delivers reliable test results. And the refraction is also more convenient for the customer, who does not have to change locations during the entire process and receives the values for the new glasses after just five minutes. ZEISS VISUCORE 500 therefore offers an efficient and pleasant visual acuity test for both the eye care professional and the customer.

Thank you for these interesting insights!

Infobox: Advantages of ZEISS VISUCORE 500

  • Saves space: The footprint of ZEISS VISUCORE 500 is less than 1m2 and has a space requirement of only 4 m2.
  • Saves time: Objective and subjective refraction process takes less than five minutes, so the optician has more time to advise their customers.
  • Simple to operate: Thanks to the integrated Guided Mode, a visual acuity test can be completed after a brief introduction even without any training in optometry.
  • Customer friendly: Measurement results are collected rapidly and efficiently. The customer remains at the same instrument throughout the entire refraction procedure.
  • Networked: Fully integrated into the ZEISS ecosystem, thus making smart data-processing possible. ZEISS VISUCORE 500 can also be operated independently.
  • Accurate: Although the instrument is fast and compact, no concessions are made to accuracy.
Portrait Julia Baier
Press contact Julia Baier International PR: Instruments, Tools and Digitalization

ZEISS Vision Care

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