Jones introduces legislation to protect the eyesight of Michiganders

LANSING—State Sen. Rick Jones on Wednesday introduced legislation that seeks to prevent kiosks that provide automated eye exams -or “robo-doctors”- from coming to Michigan.

“A kiosk in a strip mall cannot replace a doctor who went to school for many years,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “These machines may be able to write a prescription, but they cannot check for diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, hypertension or diabetes.”

None of these machines have made it to Michigan yet, but many southern states have them in malls and shopping centers.

“My wife is a perfect example of the need for thorough eye exams,” Jones said. “During a routine exam, it was discovered that she had a bleeding retina, and she was referred to an ophthalmologist. With a series of shots, her eyesight was saved. She presented with no pain or vision problems; this condition had to be diagnosed by an expert.

“I have introduced legislation to keep  robo-doctors  out of Michigan. Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist should do eye exams and write prescriptions. Patients will still be able to buy glasses wherever they wish to purchase them. Eyesight is too precious to trust to a machine at a kiosk in a parking lot.”

Senate Bill 853 is expected to be referred to the Health Policy Committee.