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O.D. Notebook: Ongoing COVID-19 Coverage

Dr. Jasper during her latest video.

Ongoing COVID-19 Coverage: 
See questions answered by Chief Optometric Editor April Jasper regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at her Florida Room Chat series, which can be accessed at https://www.optometricmanagement.com. Additionally, visit https://www.optometricmanagement.com/issues/2020/march-2020/leading-off-coronavirus-prevention-tips-for-optomefor up-to-date resources for optometrists on COVID-19.
 
Associations
  • AOA is offering the “Optometry Practice Reactivation Preparedness Guide” to provide O.D.s  with step-by-step recommendations for reopening their practices for “routine’ patient care visits, in recognizing that “this pandemic, by all accounts, is a temporary event.” The guide can be accessed at https://www.aoa.org/optometry-practice-reactivation-preparedness-guide. For additional information on how optometrists can prepare for eventual office reopening, join the #AskAOA Webinar: Practice Reopening Guidanceat 9 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 29. 
  • International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has announced it will postpone its flagship event, the IAPB Global Assembly, from October 12 to October 14, 2020, to October 11 to October 13, 2021, in Singapore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit IAPB’s FAQs page at https://ga2020.iapb.org
  •  Prevent Blindness has declared May ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month to educate the public that UV-blocking sunglasses and wearing a brimmed hat are necessary to protect from UV rays, which may cause photokeratitis, or cumulative damage, resulting in cataract or cancer later in life.
Company News
  • ADO Practice Solutions, a Walman Company, announced the new marketing program, REBOUND, powered by DONE4YOU Marketing. Specifically, the program offers strategies to boost patient engagement, increase revenue opportunities and focus on the profitability of a practice’s pre-opening, reopening and post-reopening. Email @adopracticesolutions.com, call (877) 949-0382 or visit www.adopracticesolutions.com/REBOUND.
  •  Alcon has appointed Lisa Praeger vice president of U.S. Vision Care Sales at Alcon, replacing Ben Nobles, who retired after 28 years. Ms. Praeger has worked for Alcon since 2013, in the following roles: vice president of sales, vice president, head of U.S. Sales and Marketing Operations, vice president U.S. Customer Operations and vice president U.S. Commercial Operations
  • Johnson & Johnson Vision has appointed Rajesh K. Rajpal, M.D., as chief medical officer and global head of Clinical and Medical Affairs. In this role, Dr. Rajpal will lead the integration of rapidly evolving medical and clinical insights into new product development to address the unmet needs of patients and eye care professionals globally. Additionally, he will oversee clinical trials and the generation of surgical and vision care evidence, and serve as the critical liaison to government agencies and to the academic, scientific and industry communities. 
  • NovaBay Pharmaceuticals has announced an agreement with Shenzhen Microprofit Biotech Co., Ltd. to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of the fluorecare SARS-CoV-2 IgG & IgM Antibody Combined (colloidal gold chromatographic immunoassay) Test Kit, which uses a drop of blood to detect COVID-19 antibodies in approximately10 minutes. NovaBay will submit the fluorecare test kit to the FDA under Emergency Authorization Use and will submit the fluorecare test kit for permanent FDA 510(k) clearance, so it can continue to be used once the state of emergency has been declared over by the Federal government. 
  •  Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. announced that its product Dextenza, a bioresorbable, intracanalicular insert that releases 0.4 mg preservative-free dexamethasone to the ocular surface for up to 30 days, met all Phase 3 clinical trial pre-specified primary endpoints, as demonstrated by a statistically significant mean change in ocular itching from baseline, and was observed to have a favorable safety profile and be well-tolerated with no serious adverse events observed (ocular or non-ocular).
  • Regener-Eyes is gearing up to launch Regener-Eyes LITE Ophthalmic Solution, a preservative-free sterile, acellular biologic, to better meet the needs of mild dry eye disease patients. The product will be distributed through eye care professionals only, the company says. 
  •  SightGlass Vision announced topline data from a planned 12-month interim analysis of the CYPRESS clinical study (NCT03623074), the company’s pivotal trial evaluating its novel eyeglasses designed to slow the progression of myopia in children. Specifically, in terms of cycloplegic spherical equivalent refraction change from baseline, the data showed a reduction in myopia progression of up to 74% at 12 months (p<0.0001 for both test arms). For the same time period, in terms of axial length change from baseline, results showed a reduction in axial length progression of up to 50% at 12 months (p<0.0001 and p=0.0018 for the two test arms).
  • Solutionreach has announced the release of its SR Telehealth solution, which features online scheduling; instructions for the telehealth visits in a text or email appointment reminder; high-resolution virtual visits launched through SMS; post-visit surveys for telehealth appointments; EHR integration; and a professional implementation service. SR Telehealth is included with the Solutionreach and SR Health platforms at no additional cost until July 31, 2020 to support providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit www.solutionreach.com/telehealth.
  • Visibly has announced it will provide optometrists, ophthalmologists and optical service providers globally free access to its virtual vision test technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eye care professionals can access this technology by emailing: info@govisibly.com. Visit: https://www.govisibly.com/.
  • WalmanOptical has introduced the Grand Reopening Playbook, comprised of a set of checklists and best practice ideas to aid practitioners in reopening their practices after the COVID-19 pandemic. To download a copy of the Playbook, visit https://www.walman.com/grand-reopening-playbook.
Media
  • DAWESTalk, moderated by practice development expert James Dawes, is a weekly program designed to help audience members understand the real challenges of eye care today, while introducing them to technology-based solutions that will propel practices into the post-COVID world. The program features informed discussion on all elements of the patient visit. Beginning May 6, DAWESTalk will be presented every Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT. To register, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_.
  •  “Open Your Eyes,” a documentary on the role of optometrists as an integral part of health care, premieres virtually tonight at 8 p.m. EDT. ODWire.org will host and live-stream the documentary to the global optometric community, and provide an interactive Q&A after the screening with Kerry Gelb, O.D. To register for this event, visit https://oye.odwire.org/.
O.D. Notebook is published weekly on Wednesdays. Unless otherwise noted, the information presented is based on press releases. Find earlier editions here. To submit a press release to be considered for publication, click here.   Additionally, find frequently updated COVID-19 coverage here