Article Date: 10/1/2011

Baby Boomers Love Technology
practice strategies

Baby Boomers Love Technology

Give them what they want and help grow your patient base.

Donald S. Teig, O.D., F.A.A.O.

I'm a Baby Boomer and proud of it. In fact, I'm one of the first of my group of 78 million to earn the distinction of having the title pinned on me. We were all born between January 1946 and December 1964 and share many similar attributes; a good work ethic, denial that we're aging, and an active lifestyle. We even text, have Facebook friends and can Tweet.

We also share one other important attribute—a love for new technology. You may be wondering what I'm driving at. I'll make it short and sweet. If you're not recognizing that this huge part of the population is an untapped source for growth in your practice, you're missing the boat!

Offer it and they will come

Consider adding these high-tech options to your practice:

► Multifocal contact lenses: What baby boomer wants to reach for their “cheaters” when reading a menu in a restaurant? They have “old” written all over them. Maybe that's why our colleagues in the contact lens industry are driven to continually improve the art and science of multifocal contact lens wear. A case in point is the Duette Multifocal from SynergEyes. Their unique hybrid design and true progressive multifocal zone is a good option for presbyopic patients. I should know. I've been wearing them for the past few months and I can see like a 20-year-old again.

As a practitioner, there is also something to be said for the fact that patients can't get this product easily from online contact lens discount websites, chain stores or by telephone. By offering your patient this “customized” high-technology product, you will gain improved patient loyalty and generate a plethora of referrals.

► High-definition progressive eyeglass lenses: Remember, I said that we baby boomers love technology. We've embraced highdefinition TV, just like the rest of the world. We know about pixels, plasmas, LCDs, LEDs—you name it. In our practice, we've generated an enthusiastic response to “highdefinition” eyeglass lenses. We were among the first in our area to introduce aberrometry to our routine eye examination. This technology allows us to recommend iZon lenses from Ophthonix to patients who are hoping to see better than they ever have in the past. After all, who doesn't want that?

iZon lenses have an “aberration control” layer built into their lenses. They're a must for following your 300-yard drives on the golf course. (Unfortunately, none of my drives go remotely that far—most wind up in the woods.) That being said, I can find my ball better in the underbrush when seeing it in HD.

► Electronic focusing eyewear: Just when I was finally getting used to my progressive lenses, (I only fell down two flights of stairs yesterday!) along comes emPower dynamic electronic spectacle lenses from Pixel Optics. This new technology is a baby boomer's dream. It provides an invisible electronic near-focus zone when needed, simply by pushing a button on the temple piece of the frame. These lenses claim to allow for a wider field of view with less distortion than progressive-add lenses.When you're not reading, just push the button again and the reading zone disappears. It has a rechargeable hidden battery as well.

► Specialty centers: Create centers within your practice focused on conditions that concern an aging population—specifically, a dry eye center, center for age-related macular degeneration and a glaucoma center.

Create separate stationery and logos for each of these centers. Distribute pamphlets describing the the services you offer in these centers. Get the word out to your patients and the community that you specialize in these areas of disease, diagnosis and treatment.

Again, we love technology, so it behooves you to embrace this opportunity to provide “cutting edge” equipment, products and services to this audience. After all, we can Tweet about it all day. OM


Optometric Management, Issue: October 2011