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O.D. Notebook: Study Shows Most Consumers Would Follow Their ECP’s Contact Lens Recommendation, Regardless of Lens Cost

O.D. Notebook 
 

A series of studies from CooperVision found that most consumers (68%) expect their eye care provider to recommend the healthiest option for their eye care, regardless of cost. Additionally, 75% of 1-day wearers agreed they would follow their eye care provider’s contact lens recommendations, regardless of cost, and 67% found that they would be willing to pay more for a lens that provides the oxygen their eyes need. Yet, ECPs cite “seemingly prohibitive cost to the patient” most often as the challenge to considering prescribing 1-day silicone hydrogel contact lenses, according to the research. The studies focused specifically on silicone hydrogel 1-day lenses, which 92% of eye care providers surveyed agree are the best choice for patients’ eyes related to contact lens wear and breathability. CooperVision will release a more detailed report on the studies later this summer. 
 
Associations
  • The California Optometric Association has contributed $10,000 to Oklahoman’s Against SQ 793, a campaign sponsored by Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians. It works to fight a referendum on the November ballot to amend the Oklahoma constitution to permit corporate retailers to restrict an O.D.’s scope of practice. 
 
Companies
  • Fred Ellis has been named CEO at BlephEx LLC. Mr. Ellis has held positions at Alcon Novartis. 
  • Notal Vision Incannounced the completion of its 4 millionth test on its ForeseeHome, an FDA-cleared home-monitoring device for patients who have intermediate dry AMD at risk for wet AMD. 
  • Opternativehas partnered with Ben & Frank, a Mexican optical, to provide patients in Mexico with access to its online vision test. 
 
Nonprofit
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness is supporting a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, called The Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act. It would provide for the creation of Eye Bonds that would fund translational research and advance treatments and cures for blindness and vision impairment. The bill, known as HR 6421, was introduced July 18 and immediately referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. You can track its progress at http://bit.ly/2JQCSyJ.
 
Private practice news
  • Today’s Vision Family Eye Care has opened a new location on Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring, Texas. The practice is owned and operated by Drs. Kris Patel and Hiral Mehta. It is the practice’s second location, also located on Rayford Road. 
 
Research notes
  • Dr. Jacob Thyssen and colleagues at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, estimate that 415 million people worldwide have rosacea, according to British Journal of Dermatologyepub ahead of print. 
  • Performance standards may be needed for EHR usability, finding that tasks, such as completing an imaging order, vary from 25 seconds on one site to more than a minute on another, according to July Journal of American Medical Informatics Association.
 
Schools
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences received accreditation on its professional optometric degree program from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. 
 
– Updated July 25

Essilor of America has announced Millicent “Millie” Knight, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.A.A.R.M., to the position of senior vice president, customer development group and member of the leadership team. Dr. Knight replaces Dr. Howard Purcell, who is now president at New England College of Optometry. Previously, Dr. Knight served as vice president of professional affairs, North America, at Johnson & Johnson Vision. 
 
Alliances
  • Healthy Eyes Advantage Inc. has debuted its HEA 20/20 Program, which is a tailored and customized support program for eye care practitioners. The program began July 1. If you are interested in learning more, call (800) 959-2020. 
  • PECAA and OD Excellence have merged, effective July 9. The new entity will be headquartered in Portland and will retain leadership and staff from both companies.
 
Companies
  • Blanchard Contact Lenses will host Beyond the Limbus Scleral Lens Workshops in Philadelphia on Sept. 23 and Manchester, N.H., on Oct. 7. The workshops provide comprehensive, hands-on training to eye care professionals, specifically related to the company’s Onefit family of scleral lenses. To register, visit  blanchardlab.com/blanchard-u/beyond-the-limbus/.
 
New product releases
  • Fluid Intelligence, from RETINA-AI, is an artificial intelligence mobile app that detects macula edema and sub-retinal fluid on OCT retinal scans. The app can be found on iTunes, with an Android version coming soon. 
  • CenterVue’s EIDON FA platform has been FDA cleared. The FA Model allows performance of fluorescein angiography, both images and video, on the confocal scanner. The devices other imaging modalities include TrueColor, infrared and autofluorescence.
  • Transitions, with Chiristina Siriano, launched new colors to its Signature and XTRActive style mirrors. Signature colors include sapphire, amethyst, amber and emerald. XTRActive style mirror colors include gold, silver shadow, red, pink, blue and green. 
 
Nonprofit
  • Brien Holden Vision Institute has a new CEO, Ms. Yvette Waddell. In this role, replacing Professor Kovin Naidoo, she will focus on translational research response. Meanwhile, the role of CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation will be held, in an interim capacity, by Ms. Amanda Davis, with an eye on driving public health response. In related news, the institute has found that myopic macular degeneration will cause a five-fold increase in vision impairment by 2050, affecting an estimated 55.7 million. Read the full report: http://bit.ly/2L1KKTv
  • Envision has received a gift of $150,000 from INTRUST Bank toward the William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center, which is designed to train people who are blind or visually impaired for placement in skilled positions in business. Additional gifts for the project were provided by The Sunderland Foundation, $300,000, and J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, $750,000, among others. 
  • Vision Impact Institute has added Judith Marcano Williams to its advocacy team, focusing on the Americas. 
Alliances
  • Opti-Port is now partnered with National Strategic Group to strengthen its digital marketing service offerings to its group of multi-office eye care providers. 
 
Associations
  • American Academy of Optometry Foundation’s Joseph T. Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award goes to Eugene Appenteng Osae, O.D. He is a PhD candidate in physiological optics and a teaching assistant at the University of Houston College of Optometry. He receives a $2,000 education award and a $750 travel fellowship to attend Academy 2018 San Antonio annual meeting in November. In other news, the foundation also announced the 13 recipients of the 2018 William C. Ezell Fellowships: Katherine Bickle, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.; Elise N. Harb, O.D., M.Sc., F.A.A.O.; Gareth Hastings, BOptom; Jessica V. Jasien; Jasmine S. Junge, O.D., F.A.A.O.; Ann Morrison, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.; Laura Pardon, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.; Priyamvada M. Pitale, M.S.; Kaitlyn Anne Sapoznik, O.D.; Daisy Shu, BOptom; Suraj Upadhyaya, O.D., F.A.A.O.; Maria Walker, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.; and Phillip Thomas Yuhas, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O. Additionally, the recipient of the Jill and George Mertz Fellwoship has been awarded to Dr. Vinh D. Vu, O.D., an optometry graduate and faculty member of Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam. 
  • SECO International, Association of Optometrists (U.K.) and Armed Forces Optometric Society have joined together to offer Therapeutics London 2018. The meeting will take place Sept. 23 and 24 at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London and focus on therapeutic management of ocular diseases through specialist workshops, lectures and peer discussion. Continuing education credit available. For more information visit www.secointernational.com/London. 
 
Companies
  • ABB Optical Group, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, is accepting abstracts for its 2018-2019 Optometry Student Challenge. Three winners will be selected and awarded travel grants of $1,500 and registration costs to attend Global Specialty Lens Symposium and present a scientific poster. Interested third- and fourth-year students must register by July 31 and then submit an abstract on their poster topics by Oct. 15. Finalists will be notified by Oct. 31. For more details on the program, visit http://abboptical.com/OptometryStudentChallenge. Global Specialty Lens Symposium is held Jan. 24 to 27 in Las Vegas, more information can be found at http://bit.ly/2N8UcBf. 
  • Abom Inc. has partnered with Essilor Prescription Safety team to pair its anti-fogging heated goggle technology system with a prescription customer solution. 
  • Bausch + Lomb’s New Drug Application for its submicron loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel, 0.38%, has been accepted by the FDA and giving a PDUFA date of Feb. 25. 
  • Essilor and Luxottica have extended the deadline of their combination and contribution agreements, signed by Essilor and Delfin, Luxottica’s majority shareholder, to July 31 due to lack of approval from the Chinese competition authority. It is also awaiting on completion of antitrust process in Turkey. 
  • Eyenovia has appointed Michael Rowe to vice president of marketing. 
  • Maculogix has appointed Dr. Amanda K. Lee as director of professional relations. 
  • Novartis announced its intention to seek shareholder approval for a spinoff of Alcon eye care devices business into a separately traded company. The Alcon ophthalmology pharmaceuticals portfolio would remain with Novartis. Final board approval is estimated to take place in February with completion expected in first half of 2019. The company would be based in Switzerland, with Fort Worth as a key location. The global scale and reach of the proposed company would encompass about 20,000 employees and $7 billion in sales from 2017. With the announcement came two personnel changes, effective as of July 1: Alcon’s CEO Mike Ball became chairman-designate, while Chief Operating Officer David Endicott was promoted to Alcon CEO. If Alcon becomes a separate company, Mr. Ball will become chairman of Alcon’s board of directors. 
  • Oculocare Medical Inc., a Swiss technology company, has received FDA 510(k) clearance for Alleye, a mobile medical software application indicated for the detection and monitoring of AMD. The device is intended for use following diagnosis by an eye specialist, for patients to regularly monitor their eyesight or disease progression at home. More information can be found at alleye.io and oculocare.com. 
  • Ocular Therapeutix Inc. has resubmitted its New Drug Application the FDA for Dextenza 0.4mg, a dexamethasone insert for the treatment of ocular pain following ophthalmic surgery. 
  • Opternative has partnered with EzContacts to provide access to online prescription renewal technology on EzContacts.com. 
  • Oyster Point Pharma received FDA clearance to proceed with clinical develop of OC-01, an investigational compound intended to stimulate natural tear film production in people with dry eye disease that is administered in a nasal spray. 
  • PracticeEHR is now being utilized by SeniorWell, a mobile healthcare company providing on-site optometry and other health services to seniors in long-term nursing facilities in the Midwest, to provide the mobile company with the cloud-based. 
  • SynergEyes Inc .has appointed Bob Ferrigno as CEO. 
  • Research from Transitions Optica lindicates that eye care professionals have a large influence on whether consumers will try Transitions lenses, with 50% of consumers reporting they will try the lenses if recommended by their eye care professional. Conversely, 54% of consumers will not try Transitions lenses if they are discouraged by an eye care professional. Eye care professionals have the greatest influence on a consumer’s eyeglass selection, at 61%, while 55% of consumers would be influenced by a spouse or significant other. 
  • Valley Contax held its Custom Stable Cup Challenge at Optometry’s Meeting in Denver. The competition consisted of participants applying Custom Stable lens with NaFl, then using TelScreen’s imaging system and slit lamp to evaluate on the lens and record estimated central clearance before finally moving to Optovue OCT to use its vault mapping software to record actual central clearance. Scores were collected based on alma mater, with over 100 participants, and the school with the lowest average difference between estimated and actual central clearance, with at least 10 participants, was declared the winner. First place went to Southern College of Optometry, which received two $500 scholarships, second place to Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry, which was awarded one scholarship. 
 
New products
  • Allergan has launched Refresh Repair lubricant eye drops, an OTC artificial tear designed to repair and protect the eyes from the harmful effects of dry eye. Available in a multi-dose bottle, the drop includes the active ingredients carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% and glycerin 0.9%, and the inactive ingredient hyaluronic acid.
  • Rev360 has launched RevImaging, an image management solution that runs within the company’s EHR software, RevolutionEHR. 
 
Research Notes
  • Cataract surgery was associated with a modest decrease in the risk of being involved in a serious traffic crash, according toJama Ophthalmology.
 
Schools
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry student volunteers participated in a service trip to Panama, making it the 40thconsecutive year students from the Optometric Service to Humanity organization have participated in such a trip, and served about 1,400 patients. 
 
 
For more O.D. Notebook, find June’s listing here.