The speed of change.

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Thoughts on the Speed of Change

It shouldn't bother you that I'm stuck in 1980's technology — I have help.

Jim Thomas

Just a glance at this month's table of contents reveals how quickly optometry is changing. Topics such as “apps” and alternative IOP measurements are subjects we wouldn't have covered in such detail several years ago. It's a reminder that innovation is alive and well in eye care.

Reporting on any change can make you feel like you're well ahead of the technology curve. For me, this sense of “techno-pride” doesn't last long because I have tech-savvy friends and children who remind me that items such as my music collection take advantage of technology that is at least 30 years old. Yes, they can listen to their music any place they have access to their phones, computers or tablets — virtually anywhere. I require CDs, LPs and assorted heavy pieces of hardware.

The unknowns

Part of the hesitance in moving forward with a virtual music library is that with any new technology, there are unknown variables. In my case: How much time it will take to transfer CDs and LPs to digital files? Will the music sound the same? And of course, how much will this change cost? These unknowns are best understood when explained by an expert who grasps the issues from the unique perspective of the user.

Help is on the way

In terms of optometry, one of the experts who grasps the technological, business and professional issues surrounding change is Scot Morris, O.D., who I am happy to welcome as our new chief optometric editor. As we announced last month, Scot replaces Walt West, O.D., our longtime chief optometric editor who has accepted the position of vice president of practice development at Vision Source.

Scot purchased his private practice in 2004, and he founded and is the operating partner in two consulting companies. Some doctors may know Scot as the co-founder of the National Practice Management Symposium Series. The goal of the series is to teach practice management skills to optometry students. In addition, Scot regularly contributes features to OM and authored our “Strategy & Innovation” column (formerly “Tech Time”) for the past four years.

Dedication and enthusiasm

Credentials aside, what impresses us most about Scot is his enthusiasm and dedication to the profession of optometry. I'm confident that with Scot on the OM team, we can present you with a complete picture of optometry's today and in future. This combination may even get people like me out of the 1980s. OM