• AllAboutVision.com has launched a news feed, allowing eye care practitioners to automatically post breaking eye care news to their Facebook page. Each week, the news feed will feature two or three patient-friendly news items on eye health topics. The news feed will not feature any product news. Practices with Facebook pages can set up automatic wall postings from the feed through Facebook applications. For more information, visit www.AllAboutVision.com.
• Bausch + Lomb announced a global licensing agreement with U.K.-based Ultravision CLPL to market and sell KeraSoft soft contact lenses throughout the world. The KeraSoft patent technology allows for custom-made contact lenses for irregular corneas and keratoconus. As part of the agreement, B+L acquired the KeraSoft trademark.
• Kowa Optimed and EMRlogic Systems announced the integration of the DrFirst e-prescribing solution into activEHR. The electronic record management solution software offers a knowledge-based practice management core and informs the user of best practice protocols and information to aid in clinical decision-making, outcome tracking and overall patient care. For more information, visit www.kowa-usa.com.
• Vistakon said that a new survey suggested that Acuminder—a complimentary online reminder tool—is helping lens wearers comply with recommended replacement schedules. The program was first launched in 2007 and has nearly 40,000 registered users. The free service sends automatic reminders via e-mail or cell phone text messages about when to change contact lenses, buy new products and schedule eye exams. For more information, visit www.acuminder.com.
Patients’ Vision Care Priorities Revealed
Visual acuity is the most compelling attribute when choosing eye care products, according to the Needs, Symptoms, Incidence, Global Eye Health Trends (NSIGHT) study, a recent global survey to determine the hierarchy of vision-corrected patient needs. The categories in descending order of importance to patients were vision, health, environment, eye condition, convenience, comfort, personal performance and personal appearance.
The study surveyed 3,800 spectacle and contact lens wearers between the ages of 15 and 65 years of age from seven different countries. The results were based on respondents’ scoring of 40 features representing eight categories of potential product features.
The NSIGHT study—commissioned by Bausch + Lomb and administered by Market Probe: Europe—revealed that product benefits relating to vision quality are highly important to patients all around the world. For more information, visit www.bausch.com.
SynergEyes Expands Duette Parameters
SynergEyes, Inc. has expanded the parameters of its new silicone hydrogel hybrid contact lens for astigmatism, Duette. Duette is now available in sphere powers from +4.00D to -12.00D. Duette features the new SynergEyes-developed GP material, MaxVu, and a proprietary Flex2O silicone hydrogel skirt. For more information, visit www.synergeyes.com.
Allergan Introduces New Allergy Drop
Lastacaft (alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution, Allergan) is a once-daily therapy indicated for the prevention of ocular itching due to allergic conjunctivitis. Alcaftadine, the active ingredient in Lastacaft, is a new chemical entity with an affinity for H1—a histamine receptor in the early phase of allergic conjunctivitis.
Lastacaft is approved for use in pediatric patients over two years of age and is classified as Category B for pregnant patients. For more information, visit www.allergan.com.
Dispatch from the San Diego Specialty Contact Lens Symposium
This past February 11-13, the San Diego Specialty Lens Symposium celebrated its inaugural year with 37 sponsor companies and an audience of 400 attendees, including optometry students, ancillary personnel and practitioners. Fifteen faculty members presented 16 hours of COPE-approved lectures and 18 hours of industry-sponsored workshops.
According to meeting coordinators, the response to the 2011 symposium indicates a strong and growing interest in specialty contact lenses. The curriculum included how-to presentations on soft, rigid and hybrid lenses for the irregular eye; classes on the management of ocular surface disease; a strong block of courses on contact lens materials for presbyopia; and a course on technology-driven contact lens prescribing.
The meeting was an all-volunteer effort by the San Diego County Optometric Society, under the leadership of immediate past president, Lisa Weiss, O.D., and current president, Kathy Witmeyer, O.D., and chaired by Jerry Legerton, O.D., M.S., M.B.A. The mission of the symposium committee is to train a significant segment of optometrists and their ancillary personnel in the evaluation, prescription and case management of specialty contact lenses in an effort to improve patients’ quality of life.
The primary goal of the symposium is to increase the availability of specialty contact lens services for the public by expanding the competency and capacity of the individual practitioner to offer specialty contact lens services and materials. In addition, the conference sought to increase the first fit success rate of practitioners who prescribe specialty contact lenses, reduce the professional chair time of practitioners who provide specialty contact lenses and increase the comfortable wearing time and visual performance of patients with specialty contact lenses through the enhanced competency of the individual practitioner.
The 2012 San Diego Specialty Contact Lens Symposium will take place from March 9-11, 2012. The programming will likely follow a two-track format, including refined how-to sessions, new advanced tracks and more industry-sponsored workshops to allow for product-specific training and hands-on experience.
Crystalens Introduces iPhone App
Bausch + Lomb is offering a free iPhone application called Crystalens iClear to educate and entertain consumers about vision, cataracts and the Crystalens accommodating IOL. The iPhone app will help users learn more about cataracts, self-check their visual acuity and color vision, as well as provide a “doc finder” feature to find Crystalens surgeons. For more information, visit www.crystalens.com.