Practice Tip: For a fun, proven way to obtain results for your practice, consider running a contest on your social media channels. For more information, visit the Optometric Management “Tip of the Week” e-newsletter at https://bit.ly/2Qymfx6.
• Primary Eyecare Network is offering four educational events on June 5 and June 6. They are: June 5 from 9 a.m. to noon, a Lens Selection workshop; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Confidence in Selling workshop; and June 6 from 9 a.m. to noon, a workshop covering must-have skills for managers; and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., a workshop focusing on practice growth through leadership. All workshops will take place at PEN Education Center, 1750 N. Loop Road, Alameda, Calif. The cost for the education is $150 for PEN members, $190 for non-members and is led by ABO-certified optician and paraoptometric Mary Schmidt. Visit PrimaryEye.net for more information.
• The Vision Council introduced Summit Series for 2019. It is a series of exclusive, targeted events for those in the optical industry. Events include Optical Innovation Summit, June 5 to June 6; Marketing Insights Summit, Oct. 15 to Oct. 16; and Executive Leadership Summit, November. For more information, visit thevisioncouncil.org/summitseries.
• Cleinman Performance Partners announced two conferences in July to help optometrists reduce the costs and risks of moving, remodeling, buying or selling their practices: the National Eyecare Facilities Conference, July 18, and the National Practice Transitions Conference, July 19, both in Anaheim, Calif. For more information, visit cleinman.com/conferences.
• Essilor and the Royal Government of Bhutan launched their partnership to make Bhutan the first country in the world to eradicate poor vision, with the delivery of 10,000 pairs of eyeglasses for use in the Bhutan School Sight Program. The program offers free vision screening for all students ages 6 to 18 and equips those in need with free glasses, to be completed by October. The adult screening program will begin in 2020.
• FoxFire Systems Group has been recognized as one of the Top 50 most Promising Healthcare Solution Providers of 2019 by CIO Review, a technology magazine. Additionally, CLX contact lens management and marketing system has integrated with FoxFire’s practice management software.
• Ocular Therapeutix announced topline results from a Phase 3 clinical trial of OTX-TP, an intracanalicular insert that delivers a preservative-free formulation of the drug travoprost for the reduction of IOP in patients who have primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial had 554 subjects with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension in the full analysis set population. The trial did not achieve its primary endpoint of statistically significant superiority in mean reduction of IOP compared with placebo at all nine time points, however OTX-TP-treated subjects did have a greater reduction in IOP from baseline relative to placebo insert at all nine time points.
• Safilo Group has reached an agreement to sell Solstice, a U.S. retail chain, to Fairway LLC, a company formed by a group of investors active in the U.S. and European eyewear retail business. The transaction is expected to be completed within the third quarter.
• Second Sight Medical Products plans to accelerate the development and commercialization of the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System, which has the potential to provide useful artificial vision to individuals who are blind from multiple causes, according to the company.
• Transitions Optical is partnering with Refinery29 on its annual immersive festival, occurring in multiple cities in North America, called 29Rooms: Expand Your Reality. The immersion will highlight the next generation of Transitions lenses, Transitions Signature Gen 8, to be released in July.
• Active Collection for Spring/Summer 2019, from Carrera, features ULTEM technology, which is an ultra-flexible plastic material. The collection is geared toward those who have an active lifestyle. The collection is comprised of five optical frames and three sunglasses.
• Sketchers Eyewear Spring/Summer 2019, from Marcolin, includes six new kids’ ophthalmic styles, three for boys and three for girls, featuring bright colors, expressive graphics and popular shapes.
• Prevent Blindness is celebrating June as Cataract Awareness Month to help educate the public on the eye disease. Visit PreventBlindness.org for more information and head to optometricmanagement.com/social-media-hot-list/2019 to download graphics, provided by the nonprofit, available for use on your social media channels. In other news, the Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness announced members of its Advisory Committee, including: Kristina Beaugh, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.; Mitchell V. Brinks, M.D., M.P.H.; Anne L. Coleman, M.D., Ph.D.; Joshua R. Ehrlich, M.D., M.P.H.; Kevin Frick, Ph.D.; Judith E. Goldstein, O.D.; Peter Jacobson, J.D., M.P.H.; Paul P. Lee, M.D., J.D.; Jordan Luke, MAEc; Edwin Marshall, O.D., M.S., M.P.H.; Chris Maylahn, M.P.H., Dr.PH.; Chris Maylahn, M.P.H., Dr.PH.; Nancy D. Miller, L.M.S.W.; Marc Molea; Thomas Panek; David B. Rein; Frank Sloan; Joan Stelmack; Bonnielin Swenor, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Dean VanNasdale, O.D., M.S., Ph.D.; and Xinzhi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.E., F.R.S.M.
Updated May 22
Trivia Fact: Several colleges of optometry have been celebrating the achievements of the class of 2019. Did you know that Columbia University was the first university to offer courses in optometry?
• The International Association of Contact Lens Educators has announced today that it will introduce rolling updates to its New IACLE Contact Lens Course. The course will be revised and updated at regular intervals by the world’s leading authorities in contact lenses, starting with ICLC 2020. Editors will review each lecture two years after its completion.
• 20/20NOW announced the launch of its new website at www.for2020now.com. The website is designed to provide information and education about the emergence of ocular telehealth and how it benefits consumers and eye care providers, according to the company.
• ABB Optical Group has released a smartphone app, Glimpse Mobile, for eye care practitioners to track data and metrics. It’s available on iOS and Android.
• Allergan, Sightsavers and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness announced a joint initiative to prevent glaucoma-related vision loss by building healthcare capacity in low and middle-income countries that have the highest unmet need. The initiative will provide training for healthcare professionals to screen at-risk populations.
• Essilor Custom Contact Lens Specialists is offering four webinars as part of its “Focus on Education” series. Each class will be hosted by Howard Purcell, O.D., president and CEO of the New England College of Optometry. Webinar dates, topics and presenters are as follows: May 22 at 7 p.m. EST: “Myopia Management in Clinical Practice,” Melanie Frogozo, O.D.; June 11 at 9 p.m. EST: “How to bill specialty lenses step-by-step for major vision insurances,” Stephanie Woo, O.D.; Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. EST: “Success with GP Multifocals,” Brooke Messer, O.D.; and Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. EST: “Optimizing Your Scleral Lens Fitting,” Clark Chang, O.D. For more information or to register, visit http://bit.ly/2wbOqbD.
• Zeiss has been ranked Best Company in 2019 by Public Value Atlas. The authors of the study are the Center for Leadership and Values in Society at the University of St. Gallen in cooperation with Dr. Arend Oetker, Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership at the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.
• Brien Holden Vision Institute has refreshed its Global Myopia Centre, a resource platform, with new features, a new look and improved navigation. Visit it at http://bit.ly/2QdyTBp.
• National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness announced the call for nominations for its fifth annual Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award. The award recognizes significant efforts by an individual, or group of individuals, to improve public health approaches for children’s vision at the state or national level. The deadline is July 10. Applicants can go to http://bit.ly/2jh8yTr.
• Colorlite Colorblind Diagnostic and Correction System is now available in the United States with FDA approval. The lenses can come with or without a vision prescription and can be cut to fit most frames. Visit colorliteusa.com for more information.
Updated May 15
Myopia Awareness Week is Here!
The World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute have joined forces to create Myopia Awareness Week, May 13 to May 19, this week!
Through this week, the organizations hope to improve communication about myopia, in terms of its effect on lives, especially in children; help caregivers to understand the importance of eye health on a child’s overall health and development; and make sure optometrists are armed with the knowledge needed to help these patients.
Optometrists can spread the word about Myopia Awareness Week by downloading The Myopia Movement Toolkit at https://bit.ly/2YsAEgM.
• PECAA launched the Integrated Eye Care Initiative, which is an extension of the Health Care Reform to Thrive program, created by OD Excellence before its merger with the alliance. The Integrated Eye Care Initiative’s goal is to work closely with participating providers to help them, “negotiate for higher reimbursements, fully immerse themselves in local integrated care delivery networks and, ultimately, equip them with the necessary tools and resources needed to deliver better patient care.” To learn more, visit www.pecaa.com/health-care-reform.
• Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), ABB OPTICAL GROUP’s practice management division, is offering eye care practitioners two educational events: a frame adjusting workshop on May 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and a frame selection workshop, on May 22, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Both events will be held at the PEN Education Center, 1750 N. Loop Road in Alameda, Calif. To register or for more information, visit PrimaryEye.net, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Aflibercept injection (Eylea, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) received FDA approval for the treatment of all stages of diabetic retinopathy.
• ABB OPTICAL GROUP, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, is accepting abstract submissions for the fifth annual Optometry Student Challenge, which awards travel grants of $1,500 each to three third-year or fourth-year students to attend the 2020 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), held January 22 to January 25, 2020, in Las Vegas. Interested students must register by August 9, 2019 and submit their proposed poster topic (study projects or student-based case histories related to contact lenses) by October 11, 2019. For more information, visit ABBOptical.com/OptometryStudentChallenge. (PentaVision Media organizes GSLS and publishes Optometric Management.)
• EssilorLuxottica and Deflin S.à.r.l. agreed on a settlement agreement to overcome governance issues and set the basis for a renewed beginning of collaboration between Essilor and Luxottica. Specifically, the settlement agreement places Francesco Milleri (Deputy Chairman, CEO of Luxottica Group) and Laurent Vacherot (CEO of Essilor International) in charge of developing and implementing the EssilorLuxottica strategy and integration process within the next 12 months to 24 months. Mr. Vacherot has been named director of EssilorLuxottica, replacing Bernard Hours, and he will become a member of the Board’s Strategy Committee. The Board confirmed the search for a new CEO.
• Genetic Disease Investigators, LLC, has received a U.S. patent (No. 10,238,673 B2) for a supplement that addresses dry eye disease via the autonomic nervous system. Specifically, the supplement targets the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for both tear production and the control of inflammation.
• Safilo announced a global 10-year agreement to license the David Beckham eyewear collection, which will launch in January 2020.
• Sightbox is accepting suggestions for patient education content that would be useful in an eye care provider’s practice. To submit suggestions:
1. Write an outline of what you need for your patients, including all pertinent content (the copy you want to use to educate) with supplemental, if necessary (and please cite sources).
2. Email your request to email@example.com.
You can receive a designed, unbranded piece to easily share with your patients, the company says.
• SightGlass Vision Inc., a medical device company that creates spectacle lenses to slow myopia progression in children donated glasses to children in need in the United States and Canada in support of Myopia Awareness Week, which is this week (May 13 to May 19)!
• Aveo Vision launched Aveo Joy, a direct-to-consumer omafilcon A daily disposable contact lens designed for patients who have astigmatism. The lens features AquaLock for comfort; BlissEdge for lens centering; SteadyView, a proprietary toric design combined with aspheric optics to rid distortion for sharp HD vision across the entire lens; and built-in Class II UV blockers for 97% UVB and 87% of UVA protection. The lens starts shipping this month.
• VisionSpring founder Dr. Jordan Kassalow has released his book “Dare to Matter: Your Path to Making a Difference Now.” It is available via Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks and Amazon, among other book sellers.
• The Illinois Eye Institute, the clinical arm of the Illinois College of Optometry, has completed construction to update the Dr. Robert and Lena Lewenson Pediatric and Binocular Vision Center and will hold a dedication on May 18, 2019 to mark its official opening to the public.
• The New England College of Optometry(NECO) will give honorary degrees to two alumni, Drs. Mitchell Scheiman and Guang-Ji Wang, and the Presidential Medal to one alumnus, Dr. Alan Glazier, during NECO’s 125th Commencement ceremony on May 19, 2019 at Boston Symphony Hall. Each recipient is being honored for their contributions to the field of optometry.
• The Southern College of Optometry awarded Ronald Blum, O.D., a Doctor of Ocular Science degree for his success as an innovator and businessman, and he delivered the Class of 2019 commencement address. Dr. Blum is founder and chairman of NewSight Reality, Inc., and led The Egg Factory, Innotech and PixelOptics.
• The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Optometry graduated its first dual-degree Doctor of Optometry/Master of Business Administration student, Taylor Phillips, in a partnership with the school’s Collat School of Business. UAB’s O.D./M.B.A. dual-degree program was created to provide future optometrists with a foundation in business to help them as potential private practice owners.
Updated May 8
Trivia Fact: May 8 (today) is when the U.S. Post Office was officially established, roughly 225 years ago! Did you know that Benjamin Franklin, inventor of the bifocals, worked for the Postal service at one point?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it is seeking additional public comment about newly proposed changes to the agency’s Contact Lens Rule. The new proposal follows an extensive review and consideration of thousands of public comments and material received by the Commission between 2015 and 2018, including surveys, studies, analyses and information generated at an FTC workshop devoted to the Rule and the evolving contact lens marketplace.
The FTC is now seeking comment on modifications to its earlier proposal to enhance compliance with the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act’s requirement that prescribers automatically provide their patients with a copy of their prescription upon completion of a contact lens fitting. The FTC believes the newly developed modifications will achieve the goals of its original proposal, while imposing less of a burden on prescribers. Complete information is detailed at Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
- IDOC has launched an enhancement to IDOC HR Services to streamline and standardize the process of hiring, developing and managing qualified practice staff members. It was available to all members on April 29. It includes both a testing service and a handbook service.
- Primary Eyecare Network will offer practitioners two educational events in May, led by Mindi Lewis, an American Board of Opticianry-certified optician and fellow of the National Academy of Opticianry. They include: a frame adjusting workshop on May 22, 9 a.m. to noon, and a frame selection workshop May 22, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at PEN Education Center in Alameda, Calif.
- Vision Source held its annual national meeting, The Exchange, May 1 to May 4 in Tampa, Fla. Additionally, the leadership team added Dr. Amir Khoshnevis as executive vice president and chief clinical officer. In other news, Kno2, in collaboration with Vison Source, was selected as recipient of the Empower Your Care Teams and Employee’s category of Microsoft Corp.’s 2019 Health Innovation Awards. The award recognizes health organizations and their technology partners for using Microsoft’s technologies in innovative ways.
- AOA has joined the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The Action Collaborative is a public-private partnership of government, healthcare, nonprofit, payers and academic organizations. The AOA supports research in prevention, treatment and recovery services and data metrics that can be helpful in developing new, effective approaches to treatment and prevention.
- The International Association of Contact Lens Educators will hold its first 40thanniversary celebrations during major international meetings: on June 1 at 2:30 p.m., during the British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference & Exhibition, and on June 18 at 7 p.m., during the Asia Pacific Optometric Congress in Manila, Philippines. More information at iacle.org.
- New York State Optometric Association announced The Vision Council as the winner of its 2019 Communications Award, which can be given to any newspaper, magazine, journalist, radio or television station for outstanding contributions to the visual welfare of the public via communications.
- The World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute have collaborated to bring about Myopia Awareness Week May 13 to May 19 to, "inspire action in caregivers to protect their children's vision and changing the way optometrists understand and treat myopia." Follow @MyopiaMovement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the word.
- Aerie launched Rocklatan (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution 0.02%/0.005%) into the glaucoma market. It is now with national and regional U.S. pharmaceutical wholesalers.
- Avedro announced the completed patient enrollment to a Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an epithelium-on corneal cross-linking procedure for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. The trial is a multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled study of a novel corneal cross-linking procedure that includes the company’s latest-generation UV light source, supplemental oxygen designed to enhance cross-linking and a new drug formulation designed to penetrate the epithelial layer. The study has enrolled more than 275 eyes across 14 centers in the U.S.
- Sydnexis Inc. announced that the first patients have been successfully dosed in a Phase 3, multi-center trial of SYD-101, following FDA clearance in April. The placebo-controlled STAAR Study, which will include more than 800 patients, will test the safety and efficacy of two dosage strengths of SYD-101, the company’s patented investigational drug, as a first-line therapy to slow the rate of myopic progression in children.
- PentaVision’s The Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) Program Committee invites you to submit one-hour continuing education courses for consideration for the GSLS 2020, which will take place in Las Vegas from January 22 to 25, 2020. Course submissions can cover all aspects of contact lenses (such as materials, designs, lens care) in addition to related topics, such as corneal and ocular surface disease, diagnosis and treatment approaches and practice management. Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. ET on May 10 at http://bit.ly/2vJ47Hd. Pentavision publishes Optomeric Management.
- Costa has launched eight new OCEARCH Optical frames and sunglass styles. Purchases of these optical selections support the charity's mission to protect sharks. Frames include Ocean Ridge 100 and 101, Ocean Ridge 300 and 301, Switchfoot and Vela frames.
- ZEISS Medical Technology Segment launched the PLEX Elite 2.0, that will scan at 200kHz, in addition to 100kHz, providing doctors with a deeper and more detailed view into the retina and enabling visualization options for various diseases, according to the company.
- Maryland has passed a bill that repeals provisions of a law requiring “a therapeutically certified optometrist to refer a certain patient to an ophthalmologist under certain circumstances; repealing the authority of a therapeutically certified optometrist to prescribe certain topical therapeutic pharmaceutical agents and authorizing the prescription of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents for the prevention, management or treatment of conditions and diseases of the eye and ocular adnexa; etc.,” according to the Maryland General Assembly website.
Trivia Fact: As May 1 is May Day, or the celebration of spring and the fact that summer is right around the corner, we recognize the flowers that look like eyes: These include “Doll’s Eyes,” which can be seen at https://bit.ly/2Y23G6R. Additionally, May 8, is Iris day, which is the celebration of these flowers.
- The American Academy of Optometry Foundation announces 13 recipients of the 2019 William C. Ezell Fellowships. (The program was established to provide recognition and support to post-doctoral students pursing an advanced degree in optometric research and education.) Fellows include: Eugene Appenteng Osae, O.D.; Afua Asare, O.D., M.P.H., M.S.C.; Billie Bechwith-Cohen, D.V.M., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.; Hin Cheung, O.D.; Reza Abbas Farishta, BSc, MSc, O.D.; Rajendra Gyawali, BOptom, MOptom, F.A.A.O.; Gareth D. Hastings, MPhil, BOptom; Jessica V. Jasien, MEn; Revarthy Mani, BSOptom, MPhil; Heinz Otchere, O.D., M.S.; Laura Pardon, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.; Maureen D. Plaumann, O.D., F.A.A.O.; and Kelsey R. Steele, O.D., M.S.
- The Vision Council hosted an inaugural Fast-Track Leadership Summit, April 24 to April 25, which gathered a select group of emerging optical industry leaders nominated by their peers. The meeting preceded the association’s COLA Spring Meeting. Key items from that meeting included an optical technology panel focusing on labs, a conversation surrounding telemedicine in the optical industry and a session for emerging optical leaders.
- 20/20Now has announced that Dr. Chad Overman has joined the organization to serve as optometry subject matter advisor.
- Aerie Pharmaceuticals has been granted an IND by the FDA for a novel multi-kinase inhibitor sustained-release implant for the treatment of neovascular AMD and diabetic macular edema. The company is set to initiate human studies in the second quarter.
- ALG-1007, from Allegro Ophthalmics, is a topical treatment in development for potential use in patients who have dry eye disease. Bausch + Lomb announced that Yolande Barnard, formerly the vice president, marketing and sales, U.S. Neurology, Bausch Health, will now serve as vice president and general manager, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, Bausch + Lomb. Chris Marschall, most recently vice president, marketing for Bausch + Lomb’s U.S. Consumer Health Care business, has been promoted to vice president and general manager, U.S. Consumer Health Care.
- UTAS SunBurst, from LKC Technologies Inc., is an electroretinogram device that was introduced during ARVO. The device features a pattern-based test monitor , USB connection for UBA biomedical amplifier and Windows 10 compatibility.
- Loteprednol etabonate 0.5%, from Akorn, received an abbreviated new drug application approval from the FDA. It is indicated for the treatment of postoperative inflammation following ocular surgery and for the treatment of steroid-responsive inflammatory conditions of the palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva, cornea and anterior segment of the globe, such as allergic conjunctivitis, acne rosacea, superficial punctate keratitis, herpes zoster keratitis, iritis, cyclitis, selected infective conjunctivitis and when the inherent hazard of steroid use is accepted to obtain an advisable diminution in edema and inflammation.
- SCN-XT sun lenses, from Essilor Sun Solution and SCICON, feature NXT VARIA technology, combining durable material and photochromic optical control in sunglasses designed for cyclists, triathletes and active people in general, the company says.
- Fossil Spring/Summer 2019 eyewear collection, from Safilo, features four frames, three sunglasses, two for men and one for women, and one optical frame, which is unisex.
- Polaroid Spring/Summer 2019 eyewear collection, also from Safilo, includes colorful sunglasses and optical frames in on-trend shapes in a tribute to ’90s-inspired design. Shapes for all vary from oval to cat eye. Colors vary from gold/orange to silver/black.
- TearCare, from Sight Sciences Inc., is a wearable device that allows patient’s eyes to remain open during a procedure in which a therapeutic level of localized heat is applied to the eyelids for a specific period of time to soften and liquify meibum. Omni Surgical System, also from Sight Sciences, targets all three sources of resistance in aqueous humor outflow from the eye, trabecular meshwork, Schlemm’s canal and collector channels, in a single device and single surgery for glaucoma patients. Improvements in device preparation, handling, ergonomics and aesthetics are part of the device.
- Latitude scleral lens, from Visionary Optics, is a custom-made lens that fits the corneal and scleral surfaces based upon scleral topography (sMap3D) measurements. The Latitude lens conforms to the scleral shape at the landing zone and is designed to even out the central, midperipheral and limbal clearances, regardless of the degree of corneal irregularity, including asymmetric ectasias in which uneven clearances are especially obvious, according to the company.
- Envision, which provides education and research opportunities for low vision rehabilitation professionals, is now accepting clinical education and research presentation submissions for Envision Conference West, held Oct. 5 to Oct. 6 at the College of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. Submissions are accepted at envisionconference.org through June 30.
- In a presentation at ARVO, Lighthouse Guild’s Alan R. Morse, J.D., Ph.D., discussed the need for effective healthcare to address social, environmental and behavior aspects of functional behavior and wellbeing with vision loss. This was part of a mini-symposium titled “Aging with Vision Loss: Understanding the Aging Consequences of Visual Impairment.” As part of the discussion, Morse pointed out that the onset of legal blindness increases the likelihood of limitations of activities of daily living. He also noted that as many as 30% of patients with vision impairment have depression.
- Prevent Blindness has declared May UV Awareness Month. Visit its webpage for free information and graphics: http://www.preventblindness.org/protect-your-eyes-sun. In other news, the organization will hold its eighth annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit on July 17, 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Summit will include a variety of presentations related to this year’s theme, “A Lifetime of Vision.” Those unable to attend in person can watch a live video stream of event presentations, as well as follow the event on Twitter at #eyesummit.