Article Date: 10/1/2012

instrument focus
instrument focus

Point It Out

The lensmeter's touchscreen makes it a quick, efficient device.

■ Paul Karpecki, O.D., F.A.A.O

The popularity of devices such as smartphones and tablets have made using touchscreens an everyday occurrence.

Optometrists are now seeing this technology make its way into their eyecare practices, such as with Topcon's Computerized Lens-meter CL-300. This device provides quick and efficient measurements through the use of an easily operated touchscreen panel.


The CL-300 features a color LCD monitor with a 5.7-inch touch panel, which coupled with its sleek design makes it look very high-tech and, therefore, has impressed our patients.

The CL-300 features a color LCD monitor with a 5.7-inch touch panel.

The CL-300 measures not only single lenses, but progressives, multifocal lenses and bifocals as well. It can also measure hard and soft contact lenses.

I have found the CL-300 to be particularly important when it comes to measuring prism in a patient's spectacle lens. It is often difficult for technicians to know whether there is prism in a patient's spectacles, and some patients require prism and are unable to function without it.

The CL-300 will measure up to 13 prism D horizontal and 18 prism D vertical so we can see what is already in place in patients' lenses, and that has been extremely valuable for them.

And another valuable capability of the CL-300 is its UV measurement function, which measures the amount of UV light transmitted through the lens. This allows the technician to immediately recommend a second pair of prescription sunglasses or an upgraded lens that provides better UV blockage.

This is not something we have typically measured in the past, and people understand the importance of sun protection. Now, we can tell patients about the ways that direct UV transmission can affect the eye, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.


A technician inserts a pair of spectacles on to the device's lens support. When the lens comes into view by the machine, it shows up on the touchscreen. Through a series of beeps and a green “alignment OK” bar on the screen, it asks the technician if the lens is properly aligned. The color LCD monitor allows for color-coding of procedures and results, making them easy for staff to read. For example, when the lens is aligned properly in the machine, the optical center will appear on the screen marked in blue.

The technician can then use the touchscreen to specify the measurements they want taken, which show up in a pink color on the screen. This also shows what type of lens the patient has. When finished, data can either be printed or sent to an EHR system.


A representative from Topcon came to my practice to install the CL-300. They also trained the staff until the early afternoon the next day and help as patients went through the process.

Though we have not needed to contact Topcon's customer service, our staff is comforted to know support is there if we need it.

Return on Investment

We have only been using the Topcon Computer Lensmeter CL-300 in our practice for about four months, and I estimate that it would take us another two months to reach a return on our initial investment.

Also, we have seen benefits in terms of greater efficiency: I estimate the CL-300 saves us about two-to-four minutes in refraction and measurement time per patient. If you are seeing 20 patients a day, that's anywhere from one-to-two hours of saved time, which is invaluable to any practice.

The CL-300 allows for more accurate measurements so we are spending less on prescription remakes. And the ability to measure UV transmission has helped increase our second pair sales by 8% through the last few months, which is substantial.

In my opinion, the Topcon Computerized Lensmeter CL-300 is a state-of-the-art lens-meter. They've taken a piece of equipment we take for granted and brought it to an entirely higher level for the 21st century. OM


Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: October 2012, page(s): 64 66