Optometric Education

The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Optometric Education: Volume 46 Number 2 (Winter-Spring 2021)

Industry News

Desiree Ifft

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New Daily Disposable Contact Lens for Astigmatism Launches in U.S.

Alcon launched a new daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lens, PRECISION1 for Astigmatism. Pointing out that studies show only a fraction of astigmatic patients wear toric contact lenses, and a significant percentage of contact lens dropouts have astigmatism, the company says PRECISION1 for Astigmatism offers a significant opportunity to attract new contact lens wearers and reduce the number of patients who abandon contact lens wear.

The new lens, based on Water Gradient Technology, features SMARTSURFACE Technology to support comfort and high performance and PRECISION BALANCE 8|4 design for stability. Alcon data show the toric lens settles in less than 60 seconds and within three degrees of ideal orientation for a 99% first-fit success rate. A single 6-o’clock scribe mark also simplifies fitting.

Eyecare professionals, with or without fit sets, can order trial and revenue lenses directly from Alcon or an Alcon-authorized distributor. Visit www.Precision1.com for more information.

Five-Year, $50-Million Program to Address Racial Inequities

Biopharmaceutical company AbbVie is investing $50 million in a five-year program to support underserved Black communities across the United States. AbbVie will collaborate with six nonprofit partners ― Direct Relief; University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative; National Urban League; Year Up; United Negro College Fund (UNCF); and Providence St. Mel School ― to support the groups’ efforts in health and education opportunity.

UNCF, for example, will receive $10 million as seed funding for its Healthcare Diversity Workforce Program, which aims to reduce barriers to advancement in health professions and increase the number of Black professionals in a wide variety of healthcare careers. Scholarship, academic and career development support will be provided to students who are interested in a career in health care, but who might otherwise not have an opportunity to go beyond high school.

Click here for more information about this initiative and AbbVie’s ongoing commitment to racial justice.

Myopia Management Highlighted at Contact Lens Educators’ Meeting

At the sixth consecutive Educators’ Meeting sponsored by CooperVision and CooperVision Specialty EyeCare ― held virtually at the 2021 Global Specialty Lens Symposium in January ― contact lens faculty members from schools and colleges of optometry across North America received updates about advancements in specialty technology emerging in the past year, including:

  • MiSight 1 day, the first FDA-approved soft contact lens designed for myopia control
  • the Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program certification for optometry students
  • the new 5-mm customization for Paragon CRT and Paragon CRT Dual Axis contact lenses
  • the relaunch of Onefit MED+ scleral contact lenses
  • the announcement of the latest Paragon CRT topography-guided fitting software, which is slated to launch in February 2021

In breakout sessions, attendees discussed best practices for teaching and practicing myopia management in their academic clinics. They voted on which groups provided the most helpful best practices. Those who earned the most votes selected a charity to receive a donation from CooperVision, resulting in a total of $2,500 donated to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation, Optometry Cares and Vision to Learn.

Virtual Event Shares Latest Optical Industry Insights Globally

Transitions Optical presented a first-of-its-kind global virtual event, Transitions the Pulse, bringing together more than 10,000 industry professionals from 98 countries. The event was filmed following safety protocols that allowed Transitions Optical to safely connect with partners around the world, while attendees could also engage and network with each other through live chat and a social wall. It was broadcast three times over two days and translated into 13 different languages for eyecare professionals around the world.

After a surprise DJ performance from Transitions influencers Coco and Breezy, attendees connected live on screen for the general sessions with Transitions Optical leadership and industry experts. Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, shared his unique perspective on retailing, business and consumer behavior. Attendees heard from experts and educators during breakout sessions on the heartbeat of the industry and learned from their peers and partners through the sharing of best practices.

Within the general session, Transitions Optical shared new details on several launches and programs for the upcoming year, including Transitions XTRActive Polarized and tools to help eyecare professionals simplify the increasingly digital consumer journey. Highlights from the event and bonus content including a follow-up Q&A with Stephens are available on a new virtual learning platform.

New Platform Elevates Myopia Management Capabilities

Haag-Streit introduced Lenstar Myopia, a solution for the increasing demand for myopia management and patient education. Lenstar Myopia consists of the Lenstar 900 optical biometer and the corresponding EyeSuite software EyeSuite Myopia.

EyeSuite Myopia uses the latest axial length growth curves from the myopia experts at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and has been developed in close cooperation with leading myopia experts Dr. Thomas Aller and Pascal Blaser of myopia.care. In addition to precise axial length measurements, Lenstar 900 provides a wide range of data, including keratometry measurements, for predicting myopia onset and progression.

To learn more, visit haag-streit-usa.com. For a product demonstration, e-mail Tonya Lay, Director of Specialty Sales, or call her at (513) 680-7506.

Doctor’s Article Highlights Role of Technology in the New Normal

Just before shutting down their practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kerry Salsberg, OD, and his colleagues were in the midst of relocating. In a digital insert published with the November/December 2020 issue of Modern Optometry, Dr. Salsberg writes about their unique opportunity to build a new space from the ground up with the needs of the pandemic in mind.

As part of “Finding Opportunity in Response to Challenging Times,” Dr. Salsberg explains how two technology solutions in particular ― Topcon’s CV-5000S digital phoropter and DRI OCT Triton multimodal swept-source optical coherence tomographer ― helped the practice safely return to a new normal while elevating the care provided to patients.

New Indirect Ophthalmoscope Incorporates Several Innovations

Now available from Heine is its newest indirect ophthalmoscope, the Omega 600. The instrument features several innovations, including low weight courtesy of an ultralight battery, visionBoost technology, which significantly improves retinal exams for cataract patients, and a sophisticated surface design for easy cleaning and disinfection. A 10-year warranty is also available.

Click here for more information, a 3D view, and to order the Omega 600 today.

Optical Retailer Ranks as No. 1 Eyecare Franchise on Entrepreneur Magazine List

Pearle Vision, a retail division of Luxottica Retail N.A., has been ranked the nation’s top eyecare franchise on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2021 Franchise 500 list. Pearle Vision ranked No. 32 overall among franchise companies on the current list (a move up from No. 58 a year ago). This is the 13th consecutive year Pearle Vision has been ranked among the Franchise 500. The annual rankings are based on outstanding performance in areas such as unit growth, financial strength and stability and brand power.

The company’s top ranking comes on the heels of a year in which the brand grew even as it coped with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pearle Vision opened 16 new eyecare centers and signed several area development agreements, increasing its total number of locations to 552 in 2020.

Save Time and Money Utilizing Anterior Segment Tomography for Specialty Lens Fitting

Order fewer lenses and decrease patient chair time while increasing first-fit success rate with the Oculus Pentacam. This instrument simplifies the specialty contact lens fitting process by providing true elevation data independent of the tear film. Direct links to advanced fitting and design software add to the benefits of the Pentacam.

Visit the Simplify Your Lens Fitting pages to learn more and download the latest case study.

Company Names Vice President of Business and Channel Management for the Americas

Keeler promoted Eugene R. VanArsdale to the position of Vice President of Business and Channel Management for the Americas. In this role, VanArsdale is responsible for the strategic growth of established partnerships with group purchasing organizations, corporate accounts, optometry and ophthalmology schools and national dealers across the Americas. Together with his team, he will identify key opportunities to help grow Keeler’s product portfolio pipeline, as well as cultivate novel relationships that align with the company’s business objectives.

According to Eva Kosanovic, President of Keeler USA, “Gino has been an invaluable member of the Keeler team for the last 38 years. During this time, he has developed a comprehensive understanding of our business, as well as thorough command of the diagnostic equipment and clinical space within the eyecare industry. Well done Gino, thanks for your continued support and love for Keeler and our industry.”

In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, VanArsdale will continue to be involved in product development and new product launches in conjunction with Keeler’s partners. He will also expand Keeler University globally, with the primary goal of further developing the company’s KOL network and medical advisory board.