News

July 10, 2019

Awareness Month: July is Dry Eye Awareness Month. Dry eye disease is also the theme of Optometric Management’s “Practicing Medical Optometry” series, which appears in the July issue of OM. Visit https://bit.ly/2LKFkLT for practical information on the diagnosis, treatment and practice management issues related to this common chronic condition.
 
Tennessee-Based University Pursuing Optometry School Accreditation
 
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has authorized Greenville, Tenn.-based Tusculum University to add doctorates to its menu of available degrees. This clears the way for Tusculum to grant a Doctor of Optometry to those who will graduate from the Niswonger College of Optometry once that college receives required approvals. As Tusculum pursued the level change, it also worked on securing the necessary approvals from the Accreditation Council of Optometric Education. The Niswonger College of Optometry is seeking accreditation from that organization and has completed the first step in that process. Tusculum projects that it will enroll the first class of 70 students in the four-year program in fall 2020, pending the receipt of preliminary approval for accreditation. 
 
Associations
  • American Academy of Optometry Foundation announced the recipients of the Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award: Pabita Dhungel, an MS/Ph.D. candidate at Pacific University College of Optometry, and Rabia Mobeeen, a Ph.D. scholar at University of New South Wales School of Optometry and Vision Science.
  • AOA’s Health Policy Institute has created the brief, The Role of Doctors of Optometry in the Identification, Treatment and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, on the heels of a recent surge of such cases, as reported by the CDC. To access the brief, visit https://bit.ly/2S8DTrN.
  • AOSA’s Optometry Student Bowl, supported by Essilor, and held during Optometry’s Meeting  in St. Louis, awarded Nora Kuby, of the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), first place, giving ICO $1,000, the Ventura Cup, Volk Optical diagnostic lenses and a Keeler portable slit lamp. The University of Waterloo College of Optometry took second place, and third place went to the University of California Berkley College of Optometry and the Ohio State University College of Optometry. 

Company news
  • ABB Optical announces the integration of its products with RevolutionEHR’s SmartFlow for Sight ordering technology, an automation process for ordering products for delivery either to the office or to the patients. In other news, the organization welcomed Mike Austin as the company’s new director of Strategic Partnerships. In his new position, he will be instrumental in identifying, developing and maximizing the relationships between ABB Optical and leading organizations in the optical industry. 
  • Altaire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has voluntarily recalled various over-the-counter eye care products and lots sold at Wal-Mart and Walgreens, due to concerns over the sufficiency of Quality Assurance controls in Altaire’s manufacturing facility. To date, the manufacturer has not received reports of adverse events, nor acquired any out of specifications results, including Sterility testing, for the products. The recall, carried out at the retail level, includes lots that are sold under each company’s private labels. For additional information and a full list of recalled products, visit https://bit.ly/2S1T3Px (Walgreens) and https://bit.ly/2LgdGH6 (Wal-Mart). 
  • CareCredit has joined forces with Glimpse, a division of ABB Optical Group to provide an Independent Optometry Key Performance Metrics Trend Report for eye care professionals. The report details industry benchmarks, including gross revenue, revenue per patient, total eyewear revenue and other data ECPs can use to better evaluate their practice performance. Access the report at www.carecredit.com/OpticalStrategies
  • Dry Eye Doctor is a new company that specializes in eyelid hygiene and offers products for blepharitis, dry eye disease, meibomian gland dysfunction and styes. For more information, visit www.thedryeyedoctor.net.
  • EnChroma Inc. added three executives to the company’s leadership team: Rob Maser, vice president of sales; Katherine O’Connor, vice president of marketing, ecommerce and brand strategy; and Ann Sullivan-Cross, creative director.
  • Essilor International’s Points De Vue, the company’s online review of ophthalmic optics, and the International Opticians Association have agreed on a partnership to develop CE for eye care professionals. 
  • NuSight Medical announced that the U.S. Patent Office has issued Patent No. 10,314,763, which is directed to methods related to the treatment of dry eye disease. The patent covers the use of the NuLids System for the treatment of dry eye/ocular surface disease, blepharitis and related conditions. All 29 claims were approved, providing key declarations that involve stimulating the meibomian glands to effectively treat dry eye disease, according to the company. 
  • OcuSoft has acquired the intellectual property portfolio of Digital Heat Corporation, a science and technology-based company whose portfolio includes an eyelid warming device, which will be marketed as OcuSoft Thermal 1-Touch.  
  • Physician Partnered Products is a vision-medical start-up that creates strategic partnerships with eye doctors and eye clinics throughout the United States to enable doctors to obtain research-based diagnostic and treatment technology, along with mentoring programs and collateral support to optimize treatment outcomes via reduced expenses. The company's initial launch will focus on ocular surface disease, specifically meibomian gland disease. For additional information, visit www.physicianpartneredproducts.com
  • RightEye announced it’s working with USA Baseball for the third consecutive year to provide baseline sports vision assessments via its Vision EyeQ eye-tracking tests to athletes entering the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP), a collaboration between USA Baseball and Major League Baseball (MLB). Additionally, RightEye will recommend local optometrists who can help athletes correct functional vision issues and improve performance on the field.
  • Safilo is planning to open a North American Distribution Center in Denver, Colo., to further improve its speed-to-market and increase service levels to customers across the region, the company says. The existing North American distribution centers in Clearfield, Utah, Montreal, Canada and the other existing facility in Denver will be integrated into the new Center. Also, Safilo’s Clearfield, Utah lab facility, which produces Smith prescription lenses, will be housed in the new Center. 
  • Transitions Optical is hosting education titled “Lunch. Learn. Explore. Education Tour” for eye care professionals in Chicago (July 18 at Union League Club of Chicago), Dallas (Aug. 14 at Gilley’s), Atlanta (Sept. 5 at The Fairmont) and Washington, D.C. (Oct. 24 at Kellogg Conference Hotel). The event includes an ABO technical credit and admission to the 29Rooms event that it is in conjunction with. Register at www.Transitions.com/RSVP
  • VSP Global has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Visionworks, which has more than 700 stores in 40 states. The transaction will close on approval from regulatory bodies. 
 
New products
  • ABB Optical is now offering Hydra-PEG surface coating on GP contact lenses from Paragon Vision Sciences. Specifically, the specialty lens lab will be able to use the coating in its manufacturing of HDS and Fluroroperm GP lenses. 
  • Air Optix plus HydraGlyde for Astigmatism, from Alcon, is a monthly toric lens equipped with the companies Unique Precision Balance 814 and SmartShield Technology. 
  • Ocuvite Eye Performance, from Bausch + Lomb's, an ocular nutritional supplement to help strengthen the macula, the company says. It contains nutrients, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, omega 3s, zinc and vitamins C, E and D, vital to eye health. 
  • Blanchard Contact Lenses, a division of CooperVision, announced that Tangible Hydra-PEG is now available in Boston XO and Boston XO2 from Boston Materials. 
  • Organic Tears, from Eyeganics, is a 0.2% organic glycerin eye drop for the treatment of eye dryness. Sold exclusively through eye care professionals, the 10 mL bottle features a preservative free multi-dose ophthalmic squeeze dispenser.
 
Nonprofit
  • Prevent Blindness will be holding its 14thannual Eyes on Capitol Hill advocacy day on July 16. The event provides an opportunity for individuals across the country to address leaders at the nation’s capital and educate policymakers, whose understanding is needed to support vision programs and funding. For more information on the event, visit www.bit.ly/PBEyesonCap
  • Alan R. Morse, J.D., Ph.D., will step down later this year as president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild after 52 years in the field of vision and health. 
 
Schools
  • Illinois College of Optometry officially named Dr. Mark Colip its sixth president during a recent inauguration event. Dr. Colip has served ICO for 25 years, as part of the school’s senior administration, along with an involvement in many phases of ICO’s development.