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O.D. Notebook: Trivia and the Latest Industry News

Updated on Feb. 27
 
Trivia: Who was the first African American to graduate from optometry school? (See answer in next week’s post.)
 
Alliances
  • IDOC and eyeBrain medical announced a multiyear partnership to offer neurolens prescription lenses to IDOC members. The lenses add a contoured prism to bring the eyes into alignment. Read more about neurolens here: http://bit.ly/2F1QXfr
Associations
  • International Association of Contact Lens Educators will hold its fellowship on Nov. 16. Additionally, an online self-study program, the New Distance Learning Program that launched in September, is available to help members who are eligible to sit for the exam to prepare. 
  • Optical Women’s Association will celebrate 22 years of serving the optical women in industry with a Star Birthday Celebration at the Javits Center, South Concourse Hall E Atrium, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Members and non-members alike may attend. Visit opticalwomen.com to RSVP. 
  • SECO recognized the following leaders in optometry: Optometrist of the South: Pete Smith, O.D.; Paraoptometric of the South Award: Melanie Jenkins, CPO; Young Optometrist of the South Award, Kayla Campbell, O.D.; Distinguished Service Award: Catherine Amos, O.D., F.A.A.O.; and President’s Award: Jerald Combs, O.D.
Company news
  • Alcon debuted the iLux MGD Treatment System at SECO International 2019 in New Orleans earlier this month. The in-office treatment, which received FDA 510(k) clearance in 2017, addresses meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) through light-based heat and compression. The company has also announced it has teamed up with Microsoft and Elera Systems to create a new multifocal virtual reality training module for ECPs, residents and students. The 3-D educational experience guides users through the multifocal contact lens fitting process. In addition, the company shared Power of One 2.0 data, which show the majority of daily disposable contact lens wearers replace their lenses in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement frequency.
  • Eyenovia announced positive results for the second MicroStat Phase III study, called MIST-2. The study enrolled 70 subjects in whom both eyes were treated on separate days with the MicroStat fixed-combination formulation of phenylephrime 2.5% and tropicamide 1%. Findings show MicroStat was clinically and statistically superior to placebo in terms of mydriatic effect, with 93% of eyes achieving 6 mm or greater pupil dilation and 68% of eyes achieving 7 mm or more pupil dilation at 35 minutes. 
  • TransitionsOptical “Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits Survey” shows that eight in 10 people reported vision-related symptoms at work, ranging from eye fatigue and headaches to dry eyes and blurred vision. The survey identified two factors linked with these symptoms: digital eyestrain, which six in 10 employees experienced, and light sensitivity, which five in 10 employees experienced. 
  • Ziemer appointed Brad Hurt to its executive U.S. leadership team as vice president of business development. 
New products
  • Bruder Healthcare announced the availability of the Eyeleve Contact Lens Compress. In a recent clinical trial, the Eyeleve moist heat eye compress has been shown to increase comfortable contact lens wear time by up to three hours daily. In related news, the company announced the availability of Bruder Hygienic Eyelid Solution, a 0.02% pure hypochlorous acid solution eyelid solution. The spray application is designed to help provide relief from dryness and itchy, inflamed skin.
  • Lotemax SM (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel 0.38%), from Bausch + Lomb, has received FDA approval for the treatment of postoperative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery. 
  • Spearo, Waterwoman, Broadbill and Tico, from Costa, are four new sunwear performance frames specifically for wearers who love the water. They feature bio-based nylon material, integral hinges with locking CAM system, slip-resistant Hydrolite temples and nose pads. 
  • Oculenz AR wear glasses, from Ocutrx Vision Technologies, has a new design, featuring a lower profile and lighter weight with floating lenses, which provide a bright, unobstructed field of view, the company says.
Nonprofit
  • Centre for Ocular Research & Education announced an initiative to advance the use of the Meso Scale Discovery platform, a means of identifying biomarkers in the tear film. 
 
Updates from Feb. 20 
Trivia: What contact lens guru worked with Michael Jackson on the set of “Thriller?” (See answer at bottom.)
 
Alliances
  • Professional Eye Care Associates of Americaannounced its 2019/2020 regional leader team. These roles are filled by member doctors who will work to connect PECAA members in their communities. 
 
Associations
  • California Optometric Association, which partnered with Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal Health Plan and community health centers in the state, was effective in connecting diabetes patients with comprehensive diabetes care and treatment. Through these efforts, 172 patients were seen at four clinics in Fresno, Sacramento and Butte County; 31 patients, or 18% had diabetic retinopathy; and 72 patients, or 42% showed signs of other serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts or AMD. You can read the policy brief here: http://bit.ly/2IotGqc.
  • Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association(NORA) and College of Optometrists in Vision Developmentissued a joint call-to-action to healthcare professionals, urging them to consider the need for medical and/or functional optometric rehabilitation services for patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, or a medical condition, such as stroke, aneurism or meningitis. This call to action was distributed among press and social media outlets. You can download the treatment recommendation here: http://bit.ly/2TbP6uV. 
  • In other news, registration is now open for NORA Clinical Skills Pre-Conference, taking place Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, and the 28thannual General Conference, taking place Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, both at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resorts in Scottsdale, Ariz. The details: http://bit.ly/2T3OqY9.
  • Vision Expo Eastthis year will feature the BRIDGE, a space that links the Galleria and Underground pavilions to the Eyewear + Accessories pavilion. This section will feature notable speakers, comfortable seating options, music and complimentary refreshments. The BRIDGE’s goal is to inspire learning, networking and socializing. 
 
Company news
  • ABB Optical Group’s Primary Eyecare Network is offering two educational events in March, presented by Mindi Lewis, an ABO-certified optician and National Academy of Opticianry fellow. The Frame Inventory Management Seminar is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT on March 13. Building a Successful Team will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT on March 27. Both are held at PEN Education Center, 1750 N. Loop Road in Alameda, Calif. Register here: http://bit.ly/2T4cSbR 
  • CooperVisionhas earned the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority’s Pre-Treatment Excellence Compliance Award, recognizing, for the fourth consecutive year, the company’s water sustainability efforts at its Juana Diaz production and packaging facility. 
  • Eyenovia will expand the patient base of its MicroProst Phase 3 study on the lowering of IOP for microdose latanoprost with Optejet delivery. The population will include chronic angle closure glaucoma, as well as open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension patients. 
  • Luxexcelannounced that its proprietary 3D printing technology has advanced from the pilot phase to printing commercial lenses. Over the last 12 months, 5,000 lenses have been printed in the United States and Europe, enabling the company to bring the technology to a level at which commercial lenses are being shipped to customers every day. 
  • MacuLogix Inc. relocated its headquarters from Middletown to 3721 TecPort Drive, Suite 301, Harrisburg, Pa. 17111. In addition, the company has grown from 12 to 65 employees in the last three years. 
  • Volkannounced the appointment of Sunil Bharti to general manager, India. 
  • X-Cel Specialty Contactshas updated its Atlantis Spare Lens Program, which offers the lenses in duplicate parameters at a savings of 40% to 50% off the standard price when purchased within 90 days of the patient’s final prescription. More information at xcelspecialtycontacts.com. 
 
New products
  • Bausch + Lombhas received 510(k) clearance for the use of Tangible Hydra-PEG custom contact lens coating technology with several of its Boston GP materials — Boston XO, Boston XO2, Boston EO and Boston ES lenses — and those in the Zenlens scleral lens family. 
  • Bruder Hygienic Eyelid Solution, from Bruder Healthcare, is an OTC 0.2% pure hypochlorous acid solution. Hypochlorous acid has been shown to help fight infection, reduce inflammation and aid the body’s natural ability to heal, according to the press release. 
  • Ocean Ridge 300 and Pacific Rise 200 series, from Costa, are optical frames. Ocean Ridge frames consist of two shapes and are co-injected, bio-resin nylon material with Hydrolite nosepads and temple sleeves. Pacific Rise collection is a line of stainless-steel metals accented with Costa topographical temple dip pattern, wire core temples and Hydrolite rubber. New styles are available April 1.  
  • Moncler Lunettes, from Marcolin’s spring/summer 2019 collection offer both sunglasses and optical frames split into three groups, sport, duvet and timeless. Frame shapes range from square to round, include brightly colored leather inserts, rubber details and mirrored, polarized lenses. 
Updates from Feb. 13

Trivia: In what year was the AOA’s political action committee established? (See answer at bottom)
 
Associations
  • The Vision Council is promoting Low Vision Awareness Month on its social media platform. Find examples on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to repost. You can also create original posts that contain low vision facts at whatislowvision.org. Additionally, Vision Expo East and Retail Store Tours will offer curated-guided retail store tours to attendees during the show dates. Specifically, three custom-made tours titled: Madison Avenue: Bespoke Luxury + Customization, SoHo: Innovation + Personalization; and Oculus: A New Lens on Retail. In other show news, finalists for the second annual OPTImum Retail Award include: Art of Optkis; Black Optical; Edward Beiner; Focus Optical and Le Lunetier. Voting concludes Feb. 25, to do so visit http://bit.ly/2SGR0Dx
Company news
  • ABB Optical Group is offering a free live webinar series on specialty contact lenses and practice development. Each class is from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. eastern and is hosted by Craig W. Norman, F.C.L.S.A. The series, and dates, include: Scleral Lens Design and Fitting: The Basics, March 7; Getting the Most Out of Presbyopic Contact Lens Options, June 13; Strategies for Solving Contact Lens Complications, Sept. 17; and Practice Management Tips for Billing and Coding to Build Your Specialty Contact Lens Practice, Dec. 12. To register for the series or for more information visit abboptical.com/webinar-series. 
  • AccuLens announced the purchase of a new CNC computerized lathe that has a high-performance laser with graphic and alpha-alpha-numeric software of engraving of logos, identification and/or diagnostic marks on contact lenses. 
  • CooperVision announced the following patient rebate available for MyDay daily disposable, clarity 1 day, Biofinity Energys, Biofinity sphere, Biofinity toric and Biofinity multifocal. For more information, contact your CooperVision sales representative at (800) 341-2020. 
  • Essilor International has completed several transactions worldwide: In Germany, Essilor signed an agreement to acquire Brille24 GmbH. In Ecuador, Essilor acquired a majority stake in Indulentes, a prescription laboratory. In Argentina, Essilor acquired a majority stake in Metalizado Optico Argentino S.A., a prescription laboratory. 
  • Heidelberg Engineering announced that its Spectralis imaging platform with OCT2 module has been successfully installed at the International Space Station. 
  •  Innovega Inc. is developing a technology for managing the vergence-accommodation conflict that causes discomfort and visual fatigue when using near-eye displays.
  • Corey Crawford has been named vice president of operations for RevolutionEHR
  • Twelve patients, retreated after six-month follow-up following a 2017 clinical trial, continued to experience a significant improvement in dry eye signs and symptoms through 12 months. The patients were treated with Sight Sciences TearCare System
  • KIDE Systems, which was acquired by Topcon Healthcare Solutions, will take on the branding of its parent company, now with the corporate name Topcon Healthcare Solutions EMEA. In other news, the company has partnered with Oculo, a clinical communications company based out of Australia. 
  •  Transitions Optical’s 2018 Transitions Innovation Award winners are: PECAA (Best in Training); Sheena Taff (Best in Marketing); Costco Optical (Canada Retailer of the Year;) National Vision Holdings Inc. (U.S. Retailer of the Year); Weaver Eye Associates (Eyecare Practice of the Year); and Amanda Rights, O.D. (2018 Transitions Brand Ambassador).
  • Gordon Jennings, O.D., has been named chairman of the board, a two-year term, at VSP Global.
Research
  • Study authors suggest extending the recommended follow-up interval for low-risk cases as a result of their retrospective cohort study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, that found only 1 in 12,660 candidates without baseline retinopathy needed treatment of diabetic retinopathy in the following two years. 
  • A study, published in Molecular Vision, found there are two phases of eye growth, the first during pre-natal development and the second during post-natal life. The study could have implications in the development of treatments for cataract and presbyopia. 
Schools
  • Duke University researchers, funded by the NEI, have launched a clinical study testing a wearable brain-based device called NGoogle to test its ability to improve glaucoma diagnosis and prevent vision loss. The device consists of head-mounted VR goggles that use light to stimulate targeted areas of the patient’s visual field. 
  • University of Alabama School of Optometry has launched a new specialty clinic to combat adverse effects of constant computer usage on a person’s overall vision. The Vision in the Environment and Workplace Clinic is located at UAB Eye Care on campus.  
Updates from Feb. 3

Trivia: Who became the first female president of the AOA, and in what year? (See answer at bottom.)
 
Alliances
  • IDOC has added four new members of the executive and management teams: Jill Johnson, vice president human resources; Jan Cory, senior director, strategic partnerships; Bridgette O’Brien, director of marketing; and Scott Robinson, director of strategic partnerships. Additionally, the alliance has launched two new tools to its members: First, IDOC Employee Handbook Service will help create customized employee guidelines to stay compliant with workplace rules and regulations. Second, IDOC Insider is a platform that measures and reports business performance in real time. It is powered by EDGEPro, by GPN Technologies. 
Associations
  • SECO International announced J. Max Ernst, O.D., will become the next president of the organization. He will officially begin at the House of Delegates meeting during SECO 2019 on Feb. 23 in New Orleans Theater, Ernset N. Morial Convention Center. Additionally at the gathering, delegates will vote to include Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians as a member of the organization. At present, there are 12-member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. This would be the first member state addition since 1947.
  • The Vision Council confirmed to its board of directors for a second two-year term, directors-at-large Kurt Atchison, president of Schneider Optical Machines; Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president of wholesale North America for Luxottica USA; and Rick Tinson, vice president of inventory and distribution for Hoya Vision Care. Additional leadership announcements include: 
    • Sherianne James, chief marketing officer for Essilor of America, confirmed to serve an initial two-year term as director-at-large.
    • Ken Bradley, president of Eschenbach Optik of America, confirmed for a one-year term as chairman
    • Karen Roberts, vice president of global business solutions for Carl Zeiss Vision, confirmed for a one-year term as vice chairwoman
    • Dustin LaValley, Walman Optical Company, confirmed for a one-year term as secretary/treasurer
    • Mike Hundert, CEO of De Rigo REM, confirmed for a one-year term as immediate past chairman. 
Companies
  • ABB Optical Group announced several leadership changes: Meghan FitzGerald joined the board of directors; Mike Bono was named chief financial officer; Michael Dell, Esq. was appointed general counsel; Erika Jurrens is senior vice president of strategic development and commercialization; Aaron See is now senior vice president of manufacturer partnerships; and Paul Sherman is now chief development officer. In related news, the group announced winners to the Optometry Student Challenge: Nha Cao, Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry; Julie Ervin, Southern College of Optometry; and Ilya Volk, Westner University of Health Sciences. More than 90 optometry students submitted contact lens-related abstracts for a chance to win a travel stipend and attendance at Global Specialty Lens Symposium, where the winners converted their abstracts into scientific posters. 
  • Bausch + Lomb and Prevent Blindness have partnered to raise awareness for February’s AMD awareness month. The company has created a website, sightmatters.com that provides visitors with resources to learn about the disease. It has also agreed to donate $1 to the nonprofit, up to $50,000 for every “like” or “share” of the company’s posts from www.Facebook.com/SightMattersCommunity.
  • Eyenovia announced positive results of the MicroStat MIST-1 Phase 3 study. The U.S.-based, randomized, double-masked superiority trial enrolled 64 subjects, in whom both eyes were treated on separate days with the proprietary MicroState fixed combination formulate of phenylephrine 2.5% - tropicamide 1%. Primary efficacy outcome showed the MicroState group demonstrated a statically and clinically superior mydriatic effect as compared to either component formulation of tropicamide and phenylephrine. 
  • CLX contact lens management and marketing system, which features automated reordering, subscription service and insights into practice metrics, is now integrated with FoxFire electronic health records and practice management software. 
  • MacuLogix Inc. hosted its first AMD Speaker Alliance meeting. The company’s event was attended by 25 KOLs. The meeting included discussions on strategy and training methods for AMD education.
  • Ocutrx Vision Technologies, a developer of augmented reality (AR) glasses, as been included in StartUp City’s annual list of 15 Most Promising Wearable Technology Startups. The company incorporated its Oculenz AR wear glasses for low vision patients.
  • Safilo has appointed Victoria Hallberg to a new position of North America’s chief marketing officer. Ms. Hallberg, who has 30 years of eyewear experience, will oversee brand management, trade marketing and public relations.
  • Transitions Academy this week welcomes more than 915 industry professionals from North and South America to Orlando for its 23rdmeeting. The two-day event allows attendees to take part in professional development and technology workshops, hear from experts, gather education and learn from peers. Follow reporting live from the meeting with Susan Tarrant, of Optometric Management’s sister publication, Eyecare Business, on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eyecarebusiness/
New products
  • BAL chart, from Precision Vision, is a continuous text near VA chart in Arabic. The chart was developed at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science and is available in three versions. Each chart has 15 print size levels labelled in LogMAR and point size. 
  • SimplifEyes 1Day, from SynergEyes, is a daily disposable lens with dual tangible polymers, technology from Tangible Science, that provides a polymer coating on the lens surface and another in the solution. It is designed to provide enhanced wettable surfaces, less debris build-up and comfort, the company says. 
Nonprofit
  • Essilor Vision Foundation has donated 1 million pairs of glasses to people in need around the country since it began operating in 2007. 
Surgery/co-management
  • Melt Pharmaceuticals, a deconsolidated entity, from Harrow Health, will undergo financing through stock purchase to fund the development of its patented, non-opioid sublingual sedation and analgesia drug candidate.
  • EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ YUTIQ, a three-year micro-insert for the treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye is now available in the United States. The company also launched EyePoint Assist, a program for eligible patients in need of financial assistance for the FDA-approved device. 
Schools
  • New England College of Optometry  announced Erik Weissberg, O.D., F.A.A.O., as its next vice president and dean of academic affairs. 
Answer (2/20): Morton Greenspoon, O.D., F.A.A.O. 
(2/3): Dori Carlson, O.D., 2011; (2/13): 1975 

For more news from industry and around eye care, see January’s O.D. Notebook.