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O.D. Notebook: The Latest News From the Profession

O.D. Notebook – updated 9.19

Alliances
  • Vision Source has named Amir Khoshnevis, O.D., to join the leadership team as executive vice president and chief clinical officer beginning Jan. 1. 
 
Associations
  • The American Academy of Optometry Foundation, along with the Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society, has named Xiaohua Zhuang, Ph.D., to receive the 2018 Beta Sigma Kappa Research Fellowship. The fellowship supports early career optometric and vision science faculty research. 
  • Optical Women’s Association has named Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, to its board of directors. 
 
Companies
  • 20/20NOW is using AI to enable the early detection of diabetic retinopathy. Scientific algorithms within the company’s equipment and software are used to enhance retinal images and identify lesions in the retina.
  • ABB Optical Group will be participating in Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge. The company will donate a percentage of its Digital Eye Lab Network sales through the month of October to the nonprofit.  
  • Bausch + Lomb’s Lumify was named a product showcase winner in the healthcare and OTC category at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2018 Total Store Expo. 
  • CooperVision presents a multi-year study that shows the significant impact of contact lens management approach to the slowing of the progression of myopia. After year three, myopia progression slowed in children wearing the dual-focus myopia control daily disposable soft contact lens (59% as measured by mean cycloplegic spherical equivalent and 52% as measured by mean axial elongation of the eye) when compared to the children in the control group wearing a single vision daily disposable contact lens. In year four, the control group children were fit with the dual-focus contact lens and also showed a significant reduction in myopia progression. The clinical trial is ongoing. 
  • EyevancePharmaceuticals has acquired Freshkote, a family of lubricant eye drops, from Focus Laboratories Inc. 
  • GPN Technologies’ EdgePro is now integrated with FoxFire Systems. It will be available to users in October. 
  • Katena Products has launched a new website. Katena.com is now an interactive and engaging ecommerce and education portal, enabling existing and prospective customers to review and order products. 
  • Neurolens has appointed Thomas J. Chirillo to chief commercial officer. 
 
FDA Approvals
  • Heidelberg Engineering received FDA clearance for its OCTA Module, available on new Spectralis imaging devices. It is an upgradeable feature on existing devices. 
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd received approval for latanoprost ophthalmic emulsion 0.005% (Xelpros), for the reduction of elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. 
 
New products
  • Alcon has launched the Air Optix plus HydraGlyde Multifocal contact lens. It will be available beginning in October. 
 
Surgery
  • Alcon expands its AcrySof IOL portfolio with the introduction of multifocal and multifocal toric UV-absorbing IOLS as well as the AcrySof UV-Absorbing monofocal with UltraSert Pre-loaded Delivery System.  
  • The FDA has granted approval to STAAR Surgical Company for its PMA Supplement for Visian Toric Implantable Collamer Lens for the correction of myopia accompanied by astigmatism. 
  • ZEISS says 1.5 million SMILE treatments have been completed. Additionally, the company has produced its 1,000thVisuMax femtosecond laser. 
 
Updates from the week of Sept. 12


Associations
  • American Academy of Optometry congratulations the following students for winning the travel fellowship: Michelle Antonucci, Deborah Antwi, Memoona Arshad, Khob Bhandari, BOptom, Marielle Blumenthaler, Paul Brown, Kelly Cochran, Ananya Datta, O.D., Neil Doppler, Nevin El-Nimri, O.D., M.S., Lacey Haines, O.D., Kam Ho, Ashutosh Jnawakli, Deepayan Kar, BOptom, M.S., Safal Khanal, O.D., Parthasarathi Kalaiselvan, Corrin Lesjak, Sydney Si Ying Lin, Jakarai Mostafa, Ashly Nguyen, Lydia Pickrell, Maureen Plaumann, O.D., Cameron Postnikoff, Sudan Puri, O.D., Raman Sah, BOptom, Noor Haziq Saliman, BOptom, Sidra Sarwat, Keyur Savla, BOptom, Alaina Short, Annabelle Storch, Sloane Weed, Ananya Weimer and Angela Zhang. Some of the fellowships were sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision. All recipients will be honored at an awards lunch on Nov. 8.
  • American Medical Association released CPT Changes 2019: An Insider’s View, which includes 335 code changes. New CPT category 1 codes are effective for reporting on Jan. 1, 2019. More details can be found at http://bit.ly/2CL8IyS. 
  • SECO International’s SECO 2019: Where Sight Meets Vision in New Orleans will showcase new features to serve the needs of the optometry community. Among them include a new partnership with the Scleral Lens Education Society and Vision Trends and 22% more CE by hours. Registration begins Oct. 1 at attendseco.com.  
  • Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society announced that the organization will hold a conference, TFOS 2020, Sept. 9 to Sept. 12, 2020 in Cernobbio, Italy. 
  • The Vision Council expects a stronger presence of young professionals at Vision Expo West, Sept. 27 to Sept. 29) attributable to programs geared toward them. The council announced that pre-registration for the demographic is trending above that of the year prior. 
 
Companies
  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. has appointed Thomas A. Shepard as vice president of implant manufacturing.
  • EyePoint Pharmaceuticals has elected Goran Ando, M.D., as its next chairman of the board of directors. David J. Mazzo, Ph.D. will step down as non-executive chairman, but remain on the board and continue to serve as chairman of the compensation committee. 
  • Johnson & Johnson Vision’s iDesign Refractive Studio is now commercially available. The system uses topography integrated wavefront-guided technology to take a precise measurement of the eye inside and out to deliver a personalized LASIK procedure. It is approved for myopia, hyperopia and mixed astigmatism. 
  • Natural Ophthalmics Inc. has partnered with David Bernes distributing company, Advanced Ophthalmic Solutions, to serve the optometric community in Puerto Rico. 
  • Topcon Medical Systems announced Gregory Hoffmeyer has joined the sales team as director of OCT clinical sales. 
 
FDA Approvals
  • Oxervate, from Dopme, an Italian bio-pharmaceutical company, received FDA approval for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis. It is a topical eye drop containing cenegermin. 
  • Inveltys (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension 1%) from Kala Pharmaceuticals, received FDA approval for the treatment of postoperative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery. The drug is a twice daily ocular corticosteroid. 
 
Legislative news
  • The U.S. Senate passed a bill instructing the CDC to examine eye health research findings to increase patients’ vision safety and update its reports on the burdens of keratitis and contact lens-related infections by a vote of 85 to 7. The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety supports the bill. It is now being reviewed by the House of Representatives. 
 
Nonprofit
  • The Vision Impact Institute and The Cooper Institutehave announced a one-year collaboration to raise awareness about the importance of good vision for children and physical fitness to improve health for the whole child. The two nonprofits will share communications through consumer-facing channels. 
 
Updates from the week of Sept. 5


Research from VSP Vision Care found that half of people in the U.S. are neglecting their eyes, despite 84% indicating vision is the most important sense. Other survey results found only 4% know that signs of diabetes can be detected through an eye exam, and only 12% of parents know children should receive their first eye exam at six months old. 

Associations
  • The American Academy of Optometry held the inaugural program of The Research Academy, in Columbus, Ohio in July. About 60 researchers, graduate students, optometric leaders and health agency officials attended. The goal of the program was to help optometry faculty attendees develop ideas that will result in funding for research. 
  • The Vision Council’s Lens Processing and Technology Division announced a Data Communications Standard Committee to simplify interconnection of products among manufacturers of optical lab equipment and producers of optical lab software. Robert Shanbaum of Ocuco Inc. will be the chairman. In other news, Vision Expo West’s Boutique Buyer Panel will feature the following participants: Selima Salaun, Julia Gogosha and Alicia Hartman, are all retail panelists. Scott Shapiro, COO, Europa Eyewear/CEO and co-founder, STATE Optical Co., Kristin Calimlim, director of marketing, Lafont; Wes Stoody, founder and CEO, Article One, are all vendor panelists. 
Companies
  • ABB Optical Group’s Primary Eyecare Network is offering several educational events in October, including: Must Have Skills for Managers, Oct. 2 in Alameda, Calif.; Purpose of a Leader & Practice Growth Through Leadership, Oct. 2 in Alameda, Calif.; Webinar: Fee Schedule, Oct. 3. Additionally, the company is offering a webinar in December, Upcoming Changes in 2019, on Dec. 5. In other news, UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry won the group’s University Education Challenge. The challenge was co-hosted by Paragon Vision Sciences. The school received a $5,000 unrestricted educational grant. 
  • Binary Fountain, a practice software company, now integrates with Eyefinity. The integration provides efficient management and responses to patients’ feedback, among other features.  
  • CareCredit now offers a mobile app, allowing cardholders to manage their accounts on the go. 
  • Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has named Pat Ryan to chief operating officer. 
New products
  • Op-Tags and static cling vinyl labels for eyewear, from Arch Crown, are now custom and pre-printed to comply with California Proposition 65 regulations. 
  • Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism daily disposable contact lens, from Bausch + Lomb, has expanded parameters. Full power range for the lens is +4.00D to -9.00D in three cylinder powers of -0.75, -1.25 and -1.75 and additional parameters in a -2.25 cylinder. 
  • Compulink Healthcare Solutions has released Advantage SMART Practice, which uses AI technology and real-time data to automate tasks, such as billing, and eliminate steps in the patient experience. Some of the capabilities include: Knowing which patients are being seen and pulling up their records; automatically populating a claim edit worklist and communicating personalized content to a patient’s mobile device. 
  • WayAround is a smart assistant application for iOS or Android devices that provides support for people who have vision loss. It uses smart tags to provide custom audio information with details on everyday things, such as clothing and food. 
Nonprofit
  • Brien Holden Vision Institute Academy will launch a new myopia management course in November called Complex Cases. It follows the Managing Myopia course, which will run again in October. The courses are accredited for CE by COPE and other organizations. More information is available at brienholdenvision.org/academy. Early bird registration ends Sept. 18.
  • September is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, says Prevent Blindness. The nonprofit found that there were more than 30,000 estimated sports-related eye injuries last year in the U.S. Water sports were the leading cause, followed by basketball. Optometrists interested in receiving print materials for the occasion, can contact Angela Gerber at Liberty Sport, which has partnered with Prevent Blindness, at agerber@libertysport.com.  
Schools
  • New England College of Optometry has launched its search for a vice president/dean of academic affairs for the college. Review of application materials will continue until the position is filled. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Stacy Lyons, search chair, at lyons@neco.edu or call (617)- 587-5611, and find more information on the job here: http://bit.ly/2CmGsST. In related news, Dr. Donald R. Korb has joined the faculty as an adjunct professor.
 
For more news from industry and around eye care, see August’s O.D. Notebook