Moving the Field Forward
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
One of the things I've said many times in Contact Lens Spectrum is that for this field (contact lenses) to continue to grow, we need two very important and fundamental things from different constituents. First, we need the industry to support significant efforts in research and development in order to create medical devices and pharmaceuticals that are cutting edge in terms of the next generation of technology. Although existing products and devices are safe and effective, industry should continually strive to do better in this regard, and should continue to develop the next generation of products that are even more safe and effective. Industry also must strive to better meet patient needs, which change with each generation.
The second fundamental component to keep the field moving forward is for those of us in the trenches to embrace and adopt new devices/pharmaceuticals in our practice. In doing so, we must have scientific data that guide our clinical decision-making, so we can make educated, evidence-based decisions. Industry should play a role in bringing the next generation of products to the market, but the onus is on us to provide feedback relative to our use and experiences with products in practice. Do they meet patient needs? If not, why? If so, are there other things that should be considered based on our daily interactions with patients that may be off the radar of those in industry? This information is a crucial component of new product development.
With that preface, it's an honor to introduce you to a new theme in ophthalmic product development: bio-inspired ophthalmics. We hope you enjoy reading about this concept in the 2010 Special Edition of Contact Lens Spectrum. And, as always, our editorial team looks forward to your thoughts on this topic.