If you walk past a booth at a trade show or perform a Google search for an HFA, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a real HFA, used HFA or an HFA clone. However, the brands below on the left cost about half of the real thing on the right. The hardware is very much the same, the software is different, but is a reasonable copy that performs in a similar way. The quality, of course, is not the same.
Below you see the current HFA 3 and a Chinese made look alike.
Below that is the same situation with the HFA 700 series.
Why do companies offer off-brand products? Because Eye Care Professionals are generally lemmings. “I heard the HFA was the gold standard and that is what I am going to get”. This goes as far as “this looks like the gold standard, so why not save some money?” You know you are in danger when a sales rep tells you “it’s just as good as a Humphrey”.
All this should tell you one thing, perimetry is no longer rocket science. A Goldmann bowl is a Goldmann bowl. A patient response button is a patient response button, etc. etc. The difference is in the software.
The truth is that the knock offs have doubled down on obsolescence. Not only is the unit not upgradeable, the software is second rate and is unlikely to be upgraded as it is written by folks in China and then translated. The company you purchased the unit from may be offering a different brand unit in a few months because they did not sell enough of these, leaving you with something that cannot be supported nor upgraded.
If you are looking for an alternative in perimetry, keep these things in mind:
- How long has this company been manufacturing perimeters?
- Is the software easily upgradable?
- What kind of support do I get?
- Can I transfer data from my old HFA?
- Is the company I purchased the unit from knowledgeable about perimetry?
- What happens when a new version of Windows is released?
- How long is the warranty?
- Is it recommended to purchase a service contract after the warranty period?
- If so, what is the annual cost and what does it cover?
- What is my total cost including power table, all software features and training?
Optopol USA would love to answer all of the above questions for you and more. Please visit our web site or call us at 1-833-OPTOPOL for more information or for a free on-line demonstration