Winners in New Innovation Awards Program Honored
During Transitions Academy 2016 this February in Orlando, Fla., Transitions Optical presented its new Innovation Awards. The awards recognize individuals and companies from the United States and Canada for their innovative efforts to support the Transitions brand over the past year.
The winners for 2015:
• Lunetterie New Look Eyewear, Canadian retailer with 75 locations in Québec and Ontario (Best in Marketing)
• Visionworks, optical retailer with 670 U.S. locations (Best in Training)
• VisionArts Eyecare Center, independent practice in Fulton, Mo. (Best in Patient Experience)
• Henry Ford OptimEyes, 19-office retailer in metro Detroit area (Best in Growth Achievement)
• Eric White, OD, owner, Complete Family Vision Care, San Diego, Calif. (2015 Transitions Brand Ambassador).
In previously announcing the finalists for the awards, Jose Alves, Transitions’ General Manager, Americas, noted “Innovation exists within all business functions and teams; sometimes it’s the company culture that supports and sustains this creativity and at times it’s an individual that inspires a change or idea. All of our finalists have applied smart, innovative thinking to achieve their professional and personal goals. We are grateful to these individuals and businesses for their partnership and for all they do to promote the Transitions brand.”
Nearly 500 industry professionals from North and South America came together for the two-day, invitation-only Transitions Academy 2016, themed “Enlighten,” where they attended professional development and product technology workshops, learned about industry and marketing trends and participated in panel discussions.
New Specular Microscope Now Available
The FDA granted 510(k) clearance for the SP-1P Specular Microscope from Topcon Medical Systems. The fully automated microscope includes innovative features for the documentation and analysis of the condition of the corneal endothelium.
With one tap of the center of the patient’s pupil displayed on the monitor, the SP-1P automatically centers, focuses and acquires the endothelial cell image. The instrument includes comprehensive analysis software. Panorama mode substantially increases the size of the analyzed area, and a histogram with color is displayed on-screen. The 10.4-inch rotatable touch panel monitor allows operation of the instrument from virtually any position.
Company Acquires Lens Lab Group
HOYA Vision Care acquired Nexus Vision Group and its affiliated laboratory partners in five states. Nexus, headquartered in Grove City, Ohio, is a wholesale independent laboratory serving eyecare professionals across the United States and Canada. It utilizes state-of-the-art machinery to provide the latest digital lens designs.
In a press release announcing the acquisition, President of HOYA Vision Care, Americas, Barney Dougher said “This acquisition expands HOYA’s U.S. footprint, establishes a greater local presence and allows us to better serve our customers. Nexus and its five affiliated labs have demonstrated a strong commitment over the years in supporting Independent Optometry and those values.”
Availability of New Toric Lens Expands
CooperVision Inc. continues the rollout of its Biofinity XR toric, the newest addition to the company’s Biofinity range of monthly silicone hydrogel contact lenses. The XR toric was introduced to a few hundred accounts during a limited rollout period prior to the broader rollout slated to begin in April.
CooperVision says the Biofinity XR brand is the only silicone hydrogel contact lens range from a major manufacturer designed for patients with prescriptions beyond the traditional stock range. “Biofinity XR toric contact lenses bring the proven comfort, clarity and stable fit of the Biofinity brand to people who may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience the benefits of a premium silicone hydrogel lens,” said Jerry Warner, President, North America, CooperVision. Like all Biofinity lenses, the XR toric features Aquaform Technology, which is designed to allow more oxygen to reach the eyes for a healthier corneal physiology.
Contact Lens Study Data Reported
Data from three studies funded or sponsored by The Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies were presented at the 10th Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas in January. The studies evaluated the clinical performance of 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multifocal Contact Lenses and 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand for Astigmatism Contact Lenses in different patient populations.
One of the studies, by Sulley et al., was an in-practice assessment of the multifocal lenses conducted in the United States and United Kingdom. Eyecare practitioners (ECPs) were asked to fit patients in the lenses during the course of their normal clinical practice. They were encouraged to use the fitting guide and had received guidance on the company’s approach to patient selection. Mean age of the subjects fitted was 54 years. Two-thirds were myopes and more than half had a high add power. Study results included that 85% of ECPs agreed the lenses delivered a high success rate with the first pair, and 99% said they would recommend the lens to colleagues. In addition, 85% of patients agreed their overall vision was excellent/very good, and 93% agreed their overall comfort was excellent/very good.
Another study, by Guillon et al., evaluated whether etafilcon A (1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multifocal Contact Lenses) material properties could minimize the underlying level of ocular tissue dryness frequently experienced by presbyopes. Results showed that upper lid margin staining with the lenses was significantly lower than with the patients’ own contact lenses after six hours of wear. Also, lid margin staining with the lenses was not different from that measured after one day without contact lenses.
A third study, by Berntsen et al., compared the effect of the soft toric lens 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand for Astigmatism Contact Lenses with its spherical counterpart, 1-Day Acuvue Moist, on the number of lenses required to initially fit astigmatic patients (-0.75 DC to -1.75 DC) and subjective and objective vision performance. While there was no difference in the number of contact lenses required to achieve a successful fit (1.2 lenses for each lens type), the soft toric lenses provided better subjective and objective vision. The authors concluded that the results support the use of the toric lenses for improved vision compared with a spherical lens, even in patients with low-to-moderate amounts of astigmatism.
Wide-Angle Retinal Images with Apple Devices
Volk Optical’s new iNview harnesses the power of Apple devices to easily acquire wide-angle digital color fundus images. The indirect ophthalmoscopic lens attachment is compatible with iPhone and iPod and works in conjunction with the free Volk iNview app to take retinal images for general visualization, patient education, referrals and record-keeping.
According to Volk, the iNview is the first Apple-compatible fundus imaging device to overcome the challenges similar instruments have failed to address: field of view, ease of image capture and optical quality. Designed for use with dilated eyes, iNview provides a static 50° field of view as well as dynamic peripheral retina views out to 80°. The device offers both manual and auto-capture. In auto-capture, the iNview app takes a rapid series of images, running a proprietary algorithm to present the best-focused and defined images for review.
Student- and School-Focused Programs Continue at Vision Expo East
Registration is open for International Vision Expo East (April 14-17, 2016, in New York). For information about the many special perks and programs available for optometry students, deans, clinical directors, faculty, staff and alumni, e-mail Professional Relations Manager Kristen Reynolds.
Also: The Vision Council held its 2016 Executive Summit in January at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Fla. The summit had record-breaking attendance of nearly 350 optical industry leaders. The program featured opportunities for executive-level networking and leadership development and information about the latest economic trends and business strategies. Keynote speakers were: Jim Collins, top-selling business author; Brian Beaulieu, economist and CEO with ITR Economics; and Dr. Jonah Berger, author and Wharton professor. During the summit it was also announced that Martin Bassett, Walman Optical, will continue as Chairman of the Board.
Also: The national Think About Your Eyes campaign, in which the Vision Council is a partner, announced it had a stellar 2015, reaching more consumers and producing more eye exams than ever before. Nearly 1.3 billion consumer impressions were generated, and the message about the importance of vision health and annual comprehensive eye exams was seen or heard by more than 132 million adults. Six additional weeks of advertising are planned for 2016.
$50,000 Donation Goes to Optometry Giving Sight
Bausch + Lomb donated $50,000 to Optometry Giving Sight, a global fundraising organization that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error by providing access to eye examinations and glasses. The donation will support a broad range of sustainable training and education programs that improve eye health for people in developing and underserved communities. Optometry Giving Sight funds the development of sustainable eye and vision care projects in communities where these do not currently exist. The projects focus on local training and capacity building, infrastructure development and the delivery of accessible and affordable eye and vision care services. In addition, Optometry Giving Sight is a member of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, a joint program of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). VISION 2020 aims to eliminate avoidable blindness through awareness raising, advocacy and resource mobilization and the implementation of national eye health plans in all countries.
Also: B+L expanded its specialty lens business with the addition of Alden Optical Laboratories Inc., a privately held manufacturer of premium specialty and custom soft and gas permeable contact lenses.
New Grant Program for Optometry Students
National Vision Inc. will announce by March 1, 2016, the winner and two runners-up in its new annual grant program for optometry students. The program, which is open to third- and fourth-year optometry students across the United States, asks applicants to write a 500-word essay or create a short video describing their perspectives on a particular topic for a chance to win the $5,000 grand prize. The topic for the 2015 contest was “The Importance of Affordable, Primary Eye Care in a Changing Health Care Environment.”
Information about the 2016-2017 grant program will be available in the fall.
Also: National Vision was the lead sponsor of the 2015 annual meeting of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH), which was held in New Orleans in October 2015. The company has been a supporter of the non-profit organization for more than 10 years in a variety of ways, including by providing monetary, product and equipment donations. National Vision plans to donate $1,000 annually to an optometrist or optometry student supporting a Student VOSH clinic, per optometry school, as well as PlusOptix handheld autorefractors for use at the clinics. Bob Stein, Chief Philanthropic Development Officer for National Vision, recently joined the VOSH Board of Directors and serves as one of only two non-optometrists on the Board.