Optometric Education

The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Optometric Education: Volume 45 Number 3 (Summer 2020)

Industry News

Industry News


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New Additions to the Dry Eye and MGD Products and Services Family

Alcon launched Systane MyEyes, a patient support program that educates about the chronic and progressive nature of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and the need for ongoing treatment throughout the dry eye journey. In combination with DEEP (Dry Eye Excellence Program), Systane MyEyes helps eyecare practices succeed in education, implementation and patient retention surrounding  iLUX treatment for MGD.

Following iLUX treatment, doctors can offer each patient the opportunity to enroll in Systane MyEyes by visiting SystaneMyEyes.com or using a unique QR code mapped to their specific practice. Once enrolled, patients receive an iLUX patient care kit, ongoing communication around what to expect after treatment, tips for maintenance between doctor visits, coupons for the Systane family of products and e-mail reminders that direct them back to their eyecare professional for follow-up and additional treatment.

In addition, Alcon added Systane Hydration Preservative-Free (PF) Lubricant Eye Drops to its over-the-counter dry eye product portfolio. According to the company, because Systane Hydration PF is designed to provide long-lasting relief and protect against further irritation, patients with sensitive dry eyes who are using lubricating drops more than four to six times a day or experiencing aqueous deficient dry eye would benefit most from this option.

Also: The company has developed a dedicated COVID-19 resource website that provides helpful information and programs to support optometric practices while they’re closed due to the pandemic and as they prepare to reopen. Among the information on the site is a repository of Alcon COVID-19 customer letters and statements.

VRmagic Joins Haag-Streit Group

Haag-Streit has acquired a majority stake in VRmagic, making the pioneer in virtual and augmented reality technology for medical training part of the Haag-Streit Group.

The acquisition expands the Haag-Streit Group’s offerings for eyecare professionals in the area of training and provides opportunities to create new products and services. ASCO members may be familiar with VRmagic’s Eyesi Indirect Ophthalmoscope training simulator for BIO examinations and Eyesi Direct Ophthalmoscope virtual reality simulator for direct ophthalmoscopy. In 2018, Haag-Streit Diagnostics and VRmagic collaborated on the development of the Eyesi Slit Lamp Simulator. This virtual reality technology is integrated into the Haag-Streit BQ900 slit lamp and allows examination of virtual patients with the biomicroscope, funduscopy lens or gonioscopy lens.

For additional information, contact VRmagic Vice President of Sales and Marketing Marshall Dial or Haag-Streit USA Vice President of Sales and Marketing Garrett O’Connell.

Opportunities at Vision Expo West for Students and Recent Graduates

During Vision Expo West 2020, optometry students and recent optometry school graduates can explore and pursue career opportunities in the Career Zone. Top optical retailers and ECP groups will be in the Career Zone to meet face-to-face and recruit.

Vision Expo West 2020 is scheduled to take place at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Career Zone will be located at the Innovation Stage Booth #LP4121 on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students and recent grads are encouraged to bring their resumes, engaging questions and Career Zone Passports (prints out with badge.) Career Zone will also celebrate recent graduates with a prize drawing to take place at the Optometry Graduation Celebration from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Enter by meeting and receiving a stamp from each vendor listed on the passport and drop in the entry box.

For more information, visit west.visionexpo.com or contact Career Zone Manager Suzanne Krauss.

Joint Initiative Provides PPE for Hospitals, First Responders, Optometry Practices and Schools, Employees

As part of their ongoing efforts to support optical and local communities and focus on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Essilor and Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) are donating more than 100,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and first responders, optometry schools and Vision Source practices. PPE safety kits are also being made available to any Essilor employee who needs them.

The Essilor and EVF donations, which include items that have been in short supply such as surgical and N95 masks and protective glasses, are being packed by employee volunteers.

Company Extends Lower Negotiated Prices for PPE to Optometry Schools

Utilizing its vendor relationships and exam instrument expertise, Luxottica negotiated lower prices for personal protective equipment (PPE), which it is extending to all optometry schools to help protect students and patients with needed supplies when clinics and classes resume.

Eyefficient, Luxottica’s breath shield supplier, has agreed to extend the negotiated pricing on protective shields for slit lamps, manual phoropters, pupilometers and binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes. Luxottica began distributing PPE supplies to Luxottica doctors, Luxottica wholesale customers, Luxottica employees and industry partners in April. In addition, the company donated 100,000 masks to hospitals in New York, Cincinnati and Atlanta.

For more information and to arrange to purchase PPE, optometry schools should contact Mark Newkirk.

Company Keeps Customers Informed about Changes in Coding for Telehealth Visits

To help keep its customers up to date on coding for telehealth, RevolutionEHR added a blog post explaining how pandemic-related changes serve as a preview of 2021 guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services related to evaluation and management visits. The process for determining the 992xx series telehealth CPT codes no longer needs to be based on the traditional approach but can instead be determined via one of two approaches: 1) consideration of the total time personally spent by the reporting practitioner on the day of the visit, or 2) consideration of medical decision-making. The full blog post, which includes helpful charts on time thresholds and levels of medical decision-making, can be found here.

For information about partnering with RevolutionEHR for health records software and practice solutions, contact the company at sales@revolutionehr.com or (877) 738-3471, ext. 1.

UMSL Student Wins Inaugural Fontana Scholarship

Nicholas A. Holtzman, BS, MS, who recently completed his third year of studies at the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry, is the recipient of the inaugural Dr. Frank D. Fontana Memorial Scholarship. The Fontana Scholarship was created by VSP Global and Heart of America Eye Care Congress (HOAECC) to help support the next generation of optometrists, just as Dr. Fontana did as a mentor to colleagues and students alike. Known as “Uncle Frank,” the late Dr. Fontana is considered a standard-bearer in optometry. He founded the Contact Lens & Cornea section of the American Optometric Association and co-founded the Heart of America Contact Lens Society.

Holtzman is an active member of the American Optometric Student Association and served as Assistant Class President and President of the Private Practice Club. In collaboration with another student organization, he recently created a campus trade show that invited representatives from a variety of industry organizations to present on eyecare trends and new technology. He was awarded the $4,250 scholarship as well as a $750 travel grant to attend the 59th Annual HOAECC.

Holtzman knew Dr. Fontana well and recalled in his application essay the influence he had on his career, sharing “I can honestly say, if it weren’t for him, I may not be writing this essay right now. I always knew I wanted to help people, I just didn’t know in what capacity. When I met him, and he was still practicing in his 90s I knew this would be the profession for me. Not just because he was still practicing in his 90s, but because he loved what he did.”

Clariti 1 Day Toric Lenses Now Available in More Parameters

As practices begin to reopen following pandemic-forced closure, they’ll have more prescription options for fitting CooperVision clariti 1 day toric contact lenses. Expanded options for axes in the -2.25 cylinder power and plus powers are immediately available for shipment.

Studies have shown the CooperVision clariti 1 day toric lenses to have excellent rotational stability, with nearly 100% of lenses stabilizing within 10° or less from the optimum position within three minutes of dispensing (data on file), and to deliver up to two times the oxygen transmissibility of some conventional 1-day toric hydrogel contact lenses (Lumb E, Symons A).

Click here to see the latest additions to the range.

Doctors can use the OptiExpert app to streamline the fitting process and reduce chair time.

Corneal Scleral Profile Scan Simplifies Scleral Lens Fitting

Oculus and Wave have come together to create a new way to simplify scleral lens fitting. The Oculus Pentacam now offers the Corneal Scleral Profile (CSP) Scan and report, which includes sagittal height, a key parameter. The CSP Scan is a tear-film independent measurement and doesn’t require fluorescein dye. It quickly captures 250 Scheimpflug images covering up to 18 mm. All images of the CSP Scan are taken in primary gaze, without the need to change fixation.

A direct link to the Wave Contact Lens System utilizes the measured elevation points, facilitating the design of better-fitting lenses while reducing chair time and the need for trial fitting sets.

Visit www.pentacam.com to learn more.