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O.D. Notebook: Industry Comes Together to Support World Sight Day

O.D. Notebook – updated 10.10

The optometric community comes together on Oct. 11 each year to help the 1.2 billion people worldwide who are unnecessarily vision impaired due to lack of access to eye care. Organized by Optometry Giving Sight, World Sight Day is supported by coalition members, including ABB Optical Group, Alcon Foundation, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Essilor of America, Eye Recommend, EyePromise, Vision Source, VSP Global, WestGroupe and Carl Zeiss Vision. Some of these efforts in conjunction with the holiday include: 
  • ABB Opticalis donating a percentage of its Digital Eye Lab Network sales through the month of October. 
  • Alcon Foundationis running its Cycle for Sight 20/20 Challenge. 
  • Bausch + Lombis holding a national employee fundraising initiative, in addition to a social media campaign. 
  • CooperVisionis organizing its Fight for Sight, which includes multiple fundraisers led by employees and matched by the company. 
  • EyePromise will fundraise through its employees and customers. 
  • Essilor of America will recognize eyecare professionals who embody the spirit of bettering lives by improving sight through its Difference Makers campaign, which launches on Thursday. Additionally, Essilor Vision Foundation hosted its annual Kids Vision Fest. 
  • Johnson & Johnson Vision has launched a worldwide campaign to #spotlightsight for World Sight Day, Oct. 11, by shining a spotlight from its vision headquarters in Florida and California and donating one dollar for every photo posted through the Donate a Photo app. 
  • Seva Foundation, in conjunction with World Sight Day and its own 40th anniversary, has sent delegations to Nepal, India and Guatemala. Seva works internationally to prevent and treat curable blindness.
  • Vision Source will raise funds through donations for its member practices. 
  • VSP Global is matching donations through employee fundraising activities in the month of October. It is also raising awareness through social media. 
  • ZEISS donated more than 300,000 eyeglass lenses to communities in Haiti and Central America. 
  • WestGroupe has a #WithoutMySight Challenge, which asks employees with eyesight to complete daily tasks or routines blindfolded. A video of the task is shared through social media and a donation is made to Optometry Giving Sight. 
For more information and to donate, visit www.givingsight.org/giving/world-sight-day-challenge.html.
 
Associations
  • Vision Expo West announced record-braking numbers for its 30thanniversary. The show saw an increase in attendance with pre-audit numbers close to 13,000 eyecare professionals. This includes an increase across professions. In other news, The Vision Council has developed a study on contact lens subscription services. The study aims to examine the potential impact on the contact lens and optical retail industries. For more information, including a look at the questionnaire, visit thevisioncouncil.org. 
 
Companies
  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals’ application for marketing authorization for Rhokiinsa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution 0.02%), marketed in the U.S. as Rhopressa, has been accepted by the European Medicines Agency. An opinion is expected in the second half of 2019.        
  • Marcolin Group has renewed its licensing agreement for the design, production and worldwide distribution of Timberland optical frames and sunglasses. 
  • RightEye vision system has received 510k clearance from the FDA for recording, viewing and analyzing eye movements in support of identifying visual tracking impairment in patients. 
  • Tangible Scienceand X-Cel Specialty Contacts announced a partnership to provide an educational series with four leading contact lens specialists. Programs include case reports. Currently scheduled events are: Oct. 23, Let’s get comfortable with Tangible Hydra-PEG; Nov. 13, Since contact lenses don’t have defrost buttons; Dec. 12 Defending your patient’s lenses from deposits; Jan. 9 Not a dry eye in the house. 
  • If you’re interested in registering for one of the webinars, visit www.xcelspecialtycontacts.com/aboutus/events 
  • Transitions is accepting nominations for the 2018 Transitions Innovation Awards Program at TransitionsPRO.com/Awards through Oct. 31. To nominate, visit TransitionsPRO.com/Awards.
  • Uprise by Vision Web, a cloud-based practice management and EHR system, is now integrated with Glimpse, a healthcare analytics provider, the results of which will offer eyecare professionals performance dashboards that measure their business success.  
New products
  • Essilor Instruments USA has released the Pro-E 700 edging system. It is designed for high-volume production and includes features, such as engraving, half-jacket wraps, Chemistrie clips, safety beveling, super chamfering and creative shapes. Visit essilorinstrumentsusa.com. 
 
Nonprofit
  • Professor Brian Layland, O.A.M., O.L.M., has resigned as chairman and director of the Brien Holden Vision Institute Board, effective Oct. 31. The board has elected Frank Back as the new chairman, and Sandra Bailey has assumed Professor Layland’s duties as alternate director. 
  • Lighthouse Guild recently presented the 2018 Alfred W. Bessler Vision Science Symposium and The Pissart Seminar. The event honored two individuals: Botond Roska, M.D., Ph.D., and Joshua D. Stein, M.D., M.S., for their significant achievements. 
  • Our Children’s Vision has reached 27 million children around the world in two years in its efforts to offer pediatric vision services internationally. 
  • Donna Fishman, M.P.H., has been named the new director of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. She has taken over the role from Kira Baldonado, who is now the vice president of public health and policy at Prevent Blindness.
 
Schools
University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science has a new virtual reality training lab, which will help Canada’s next generation of optometrists learn how to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases. The lab was funded through an $800,000 investment by FYidoctors. The VR experience simulates a patient’s eye and provides students the opportunity to practice on many cases. The total cost was $1.5 million, and the lab is called the FYidoctors Simulation Lab. 
 
Updates from Oct. 3
 
Associations
  • The Vision Council announced the winners of best exhibitor booth at Vision Expo West: Costa for Most Creative Booth Design and Europa Eyewear/STATE Optical Co. for Best Brand Activation. Additionally, the following companies were awarded Vision Choice Awards, in order of first to third: Miraflex, Lunette and Mo eyewear. (Attendees voted on products on display in the product gallery.) In related news, The Vision Council’s research team released a report in September detailing the potential industry impact of U.S. tariffs on eyewear manufactured in China. The full report can be found on the Vision Council’s member portal, bit.ly/2Iw2Atm.
  • Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International, has added six new members to its advisory board: Tanya Polec, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.; Hannu laukkanen, O.D., Med, F.A.A.O.; Jill Schulz, O.D., F.A.A.O.; Shirley Ha, O.D., F.C.O.V.D., Patti Andrich, M.A., O.T.R./L., C.O.V.T.; and Gina Kim, M.O.T., O.T.R./L., C.B.I.S.
 
Companies
  • CooperVision has a new website that highlights its sustainability efforts. Data and stories that provide information about environmental initiatives, such as saving water, conserving energy and recycling, can be found at coopervision.com/sustainability. In related news, the company has introduced online training to help optometrists upgrade contact lens patients to silicone hydrogel 1-day lenses. Registration for the on-demand webinars can be found at learning.coopervision.com.  
  • Eschenbach Optik of America Inc has announced a new partnership with Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. Through this partnership, the manufacturer has provided a charitable commitment to sponsor breeding, raising and training of Fidelco German Shepherd guide dogs. Interested parties can follow the guide dogs from puppies to placement at www.eschenbach.com/partner_project.asp.
  • NovaBay Pharmaceuticals has named Jack McGovern interim CEO. This expands on his responsibilities as chief financial officer. The company’s previous CEO, Mark M. Sieczkarek, remains NovaBay’s chairman. He will focus on strategic growth opportunities. 
  • TruForm Optics  announced the therapeutic use of its DigiForm Scleral contact lens through the company’s partnership with Contamac. Contamac received FDA clearance for Optimum Extra and Optimum Extreme contact lens materials to treat dry eye conditions. 
 
New products and notes
  • Costa has a new line of eyeglass frames, created from recycled nylon fishing nets, called Costa Optical Untangled Collection. Every year, discarded fishing nets and gear that pollute the oceans grows by 640,000 tons. The line comes from a partnership with Bureo, a company working to recycle discarded fishing nets. 
  • Shamir now offers Shamir Autograph Intelligence, a lens design that adapts to the needs of presbyopes. The progressive lens design operates on a one design concept, providing everyone with the same solution and is backed by proprietary technologies Eye-Point Technology AI, Continuous Design Technology and Visual AI Engine. It is now available from a select group of validated Shamir Partner Laboratories. 
  • Rev360 has announced a new service in a technology alliance group: RevAlliance. RevAlliance connects RevolutionEHR users with their vision-correcting product suppliers, which includes CooperVision, Hoya, New Era, OOGP and WVA. There’s no cost to RevolutionEHR users. Among the benefits the alliance may offer: efficiency, accuracy, transparent product pricing, discounts and rebates. 
  • X-Cel Specialty Contacts announced simplified pricing and an extended warranty structure for its line of custom soft lenses, including Flexlens and Westcon designs. The pricing model goes into effect Nov. 1. Optometrists will no longer be required to purchase an initial lens to purchase the multipack. The custom soft lens warranty is being extended to unlimited exchanges within 120 days of the original date of invoice. 
  • ZEISS introduced its digital diagnostic solution: Integrated Diagnostic Imaging platform. It aids in the management of retinal diseases and glaucoma through the coordination of the multiple imaging platform into a simple, individualized assessment that helps doctors make treatment decisions. For example, the platform works with CIRRUS OCT, Humphrey Field Analyzer HFA3, CLARUS 500 and others. Additionally, on the refractive surgery front, the company announced 1.5 million small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedures have been done worldwide. 
 
Nonprofit
  • Prevent Blindness has announced the 2019 Prevent Blindness Persons of the Year Award: Glenn Ellisor, O.D., and Jim Greenwood, of Vision Source. 
  • RestoringVision celebrated its 15-year anniversary on Oct. 2. Through its network of non-profit, corporate and individual supporters and donors, the non-profit organization has brought new reading glasses to over 12 million people living in impoverished communities in 135 countries. Looking to its future, RestoringVision has set a goal to help 20 million people see clearly by the end of 2020. To learn more, visit www.restoringvision.org.
 
Research notes
  • Loss of vision and cognition often coincide during aging, says research funded by the NEI and National Institute on Aging. Specifically, the study found that vision loss precedes loss of mental capacity, suggesting that maintaining eye health could help protect cognition in older adults. The findings were published in JAMA Ophthalmology
Schools
  •  After announcing Nova Southeastern University’s College of Optometry would change its name to NSU National Vision College of Optometry for a period of 10 years after a philanthropic gift from National Vision, the College and National Vision Mutually ended the philanthropic agreement. In a press release, Dr. George Hanbury, NSU’s president and CEO said, “ . . . We have come to realize that the issues associated with corporate philanthropy in the health sciences are still too nascent.” 
 
Surgery
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery has convened a Cypass (Alcon) withdrawal task force to aid physicians in the next steps following the voluntary withdrawal of the micro-stent. The task force will review the data from the COMPASS-XT study and related research and develop an independent guidance physician document. Its preliminary statement can be found here ascrs.org/CyPass_Statement. The FDA also issued a statement that can be found here bit.ly/2zLOFwP. And details from Alcon can be found on its website, specifically at bit.ly/2zLYDhv. 
  
For more news from industry and around eye care, see September’s O.D. Notebook.