News

O.D. Notebook: The Latest Industry News

Practice Tip: To get parents and caregivers thinking about back-to-school eye exams, create a “I just had my first eye exam” sign, so the parent or caregiver can post a photo of it on their social media channels and, thus, plant the seed in other’s minds. (See https://bit.ly/2YkFlhg, for additional tips.)
 
Associations
  • International Sports Vision Association (ISVA) has launched Dynamic Visual Skills for Sports, a program that will provide an overview of some of the most relative dynamic visual skills associated with 12 sports-related areas, including baseball/softball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey, motorsports, skiing, soccer, table tennis and tennis. Find out more on the ISVA website, https://www.sportsvision.pro/athletes/dynamic-visual-skills-for-sports.  
  • Society to Advance Opticianry has unveiled a new certification program: Certified Visual Assessment Specialist in Ophthalmic Telemedicine. The rapidly growing demand for telehealth services has resulted in a strong demand for related professional skill development training initiatives, according to the society. More information can be found at ophthalmicoptician.org/.
  • The Vision Council released a government and regulatory affairs update to members that Chinese-origin spectacle lenses, spectacle frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, eyeglasses, safety glasses, goggles and low vision devices will be subject to an additional 10% tariff starting Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. The full release from the Office of the United States Trade Representative can be found at https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2019/august/ustr-announces-next-steps-proposed.
Company news
  • Glaukos Corp. and Avedro Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Glaukos will acquire Avedro in an all-stock transaction. The transaction, which is subject to Avedro stockholder approval, along with other customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • MyopiaCare, an online educational platform for myopia specialists and parents, has welcomed several new members: Ross Grant, BSc, MSc, FCOptom, PDipM, as chief business development officer; Thomas Aller, O.D., FBCLA, as clinical advisor; Oliver Woo, O.D., UNSW, FIAOMC, as clinical consultant; and Giancarlo Montani, O.D., FIACLE, FBCLA, as clinical advisor. 
  • Notal Vision Inc. has appointed Kester Nahen, Ph.D., to chief commercial officer. 
  • Sight Sciences Inc. announced that industry executives Jessica Holmes, Brian Regan and Jim Slack have joined the company as vice president of Health Policy & Reimbursement, vice president of Strategy & Professional Relations, and vice president of Dry Eye Marketing, respectively. 
  • Valley Contax announced a new Total Cost Guaranteed warranty policy. According to the company, every lens that it sells will have a single standard price and include free two-day and ground shipping to practitioners’ offices, free add-on services, free upgrades, such as edge vault and quadrant-specific options, a choice of any material, eligibility for spare lens pricing, unlimited remakes for 120 days (including shipping), 120-day cancellations, risk-free 100% credit on patient cancellations and the need to only return lenses upon cancellation or defect. The new warranty policy takes effect Aug. 19.
  • In other news, Valley Contax recently held the Custom Stable Cup Challenge at Optometry’s Meeting in St. Louis, June 19 to 22. Current optometry students and alumni were encouraged to participate by visiting the Valley Contax booth, where they partnered up and applied the Custom Stable lens with sodium fluorescein and then evaluated the lens’ central clearance. First place was awarded to Southern College of Optometry, which received two $500 scholarships and the Custom Stable Cup. The second-place winner was University of Missouri, which was awarded a $500 scholarship. Along with Valley Contax, contributing sponsors included Menicon, Contamac, Optovue and TelScreen, along with special support from the American Optometric Student Association.
New products
  • ABB Optical is now offering Tangible Hydra-Peg surfaced coating technology for Boston ES, EO, XO and XO 2 GP lenses. 
  • Reflex PLR Analyzer, from Brightlamp, is a diagnostic tool for traumatic brain injury and other cognitive issues. It’s used through an iPhone. Information can be found at https://www.brightlamp.org/resources
  • Eylea, from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is an aflibercept injection prefilled syringe that has received approval from the FDA. The 2 mg, single-dose, sterilized prefilled syringe is expected to be available this year. 
Nonprofit
  • The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness has received a second year of funding from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. It was awarded a $300,000 grant, which will help the organization to improve eye health in at-risk, minority and vulnerable populations of young children