NCC 2014 Marks Dutch Meeting’s Fifth Anniversary
The 2014 Dutch biannual contact lens meeting, the Netherlands Contact Lens Congress (NCC 2014), took place March 16 and 17 in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. With a theme of “Decoding the Secret,” this year marked the meeting’s fifth anniversary. A record 1,577 unique visitors attended the meeting for one or two days. The majority of lectures were in English and featured speakers from all over the world. Participants from 16 countries attended NCC 2014, but 95% of the registered participants were from Belgium and the Netherlands.
The meeting consisted of three tracks of continuous lectures, with the main stage featuring a 360º arena podium (with the speakers centered in the middle) and seating for 1,296 attendees. Topics ranged from scleral lenses to corneal cross-linking, and from everyday contemporary issues in contact lens practice to how to improve soft lens fitting to myopia control with contact lenses. This was also the first non-North American presentation of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society’s (TFOS) International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort report.
Short lines between speakers and delegates are always an important tradition of the meeting. This year’s meeting featured a “speed-date” session during which participants could talk to internationally renowned speakers in face-to-face, two-minute interactions. Speakers present included Drs. Lyndon Jones, Philip Morgan, Jason Nichols, Nancy Keir, Brian Tompkins, José Manuel González-Méijome, and Eric Papas.
Pictures of the NCC 2014 meeting are available at www.ncc2014.nl/?lang=en. NCC 2016 will be held on March 13 and 14, 2016.
ABB Optical Updates Soft Lens Price Monitor
Every quarter, ABB Optical Group develops and distributes the Soft Lens Retail Price Monitor, which is designed to provide independent eyecare professionals (ECPs) with current information on the retail pricing of leading brands of soft contact lenses.
This information is based upon private practitioners’ and leading online retailers’ current pricing. It also enables all practitioners to establish retail prices that are competitive and allows them to maximize profitability, according to the company.
Now in its 10th year, the Q1 2014 Retail Price Monitor reflects ECP manufacturer price and rebate changes for the new year. Adjustments were made to the suggested retail pricing to reflect those changes while maintaining profitable margins.
ABB Optical recommends that all ECPs review their pricing using the Retail Price Monitor and take action immediately to adjust their retail pricing as needed. ABB Optical Group sales representatives are available to consult with accounts in developing the right pricing strategy for every practice’s unique profit margin goals for 2014.
For more information about obtaining a personalized Business Review or a copy of the new Q1 2014 Soft Contact Lens Retail Price Monitor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Essilor Acquires Coastal Contacts
Essilor International has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Coastal Contacts (Coastal.com), one of the world’s leading online vision care retailers.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and founded in 2000, Coastal.com designs and distributes one of the widest online selections of optical equipment including contact lenses, prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and various accessories. Products are sold through several local websites covering mainly North America and Europe as well as the Asia-Pacific region and Brazil. The company has more than 5 million customers worldwide.
According to the Essilor announcement, online sales account for roughly 4% of the global vision care market and are likely to continue growing at a double-digit rate. Essilor has been involved in online distribution for several years through its subsidiaries FramesDirect and EyeBuyDirect and through MyOnlineOptical, a turnkey e-commerce engine that enables American eyecare professionals to offer an online complement to their in-store offerings. Essilor intends to leverage online distribution to improve the quality of vision care information, optimize the deployment of its products and of new online technologies, and provide wider access to vision correction solutions for existing eyeglass wearers and for potential wearers worldwide.
The transaction will be structured as an arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act and is subject among others to the approval of the Competition Bureau in Canada and to that of Coastal.com’s shareholders. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of April 2014.
CooperVision Appoints President, North America
CooperVision Inc. appointed Bob Ferrigno as president, North America. He now has overall responsibility for guiding the organization’s future strategies and direction for the region. He will be based at the company’s headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif.
Prior to joining CooperVision, Mr. Ferrigno was with Becton Dickinson (BD), a global medical technology company. During his 32-year tenure at BD, he held numerous positions with increasing levels of responsibility, including vice president of global expansion, vice president of global strategic marketing, and vice president of research and development. He also served in general management positions, including having responsibilities for the European pre-analytical systems in the United Kingdom, and as the general manager for international business for the company’s women’s health & cancer business.
Nicox Appoints Two Directors
Nicox Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of international ophthalmic company Nicox S.A., has appointed Dennis Pardo, OD, MPH, FAAO, to director of professional affairs. In this role, Dr. Pardo will partner with key opinion leaders in the Retina and Rheumatology areas to identify and develop preferred practice patterns for Nicox’s diagnostic offerings, including Sjö and RetnaGene AMD. Additionally, he will be the primary liaison between Nicox and the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation as well as other patient advocacy groups.
Dr. Pardo brings more than 17 years of ophthalmic experience to the newly formed position, including time spent in academia, various practice settings, and industry.
Dr. Pardo is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and serves on its Membership Committee. He is also a member of the American Optometric Association and The Massachusetts Society of Optometrists.
Nicox also appointed Mark C. Jasek, PhD, as senior director and head, medical & scientific affairs. In this role, Dr. Jasek will serve as a key scientific affairs expert, providing leadership for medical affairs initiatives in the ophthalmic diagnostic and therapeutic arenas, as well as act as a liaison between Nicox and the North American ophthalmic scientific community.
Fifteen years of Dr. Jasek’s time in the industry have been in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical and device space, where he held various positions that spanned clinical affairs, medical affairs, technical sales training, and product management while at Allergan and Alcon.
SpecialEyes Upgrades Website
SpecialEyes LLC recently unveiled a website upgrade featuring expanded user-specific content and added functionality, including an array of free tools and calculators for eyecare professionals. The SpecialEyes Learning Center provides access to a prescribing nomogram, custom contact lens fitting guides, horizontal visible iris diameter (HVID) measuring tips, optical zone assessment tips, and other useful tools and information.
To help achieve accurate fitting of custom contact lens prescriptions, SpecialEyes also offers two online calculators. The SpecialEyes Arc Length Calculator was developed by P. Douglas Becherer, OD, FAAO. According to Dr. Becherer, the software yields a similar contact lens design as some sagittal-depth fitting techniques and requires only HVID, central K values, and spectacle prescription to accurately calculate arc length of the cornea. The site also hosts an Over-Refraction Calculator, which determines the resultant prescription after a successful in-office over-refraction is performed.
Eyecare practitioners can learn more about SpecialEyes’ custom soft contact lenses, online tools and calculators, and industry-leading warranty at www.specialeyesqc.com/practitioner.php. To speak with a specialist, call (866) 404-1060, or contact SpecialEyes via online form, email, or live chat at www.specialeyesqc.com/contact.php.
Optometry Cares—AOA Foundation Awards
The Optometry Cares—AOA Foundation announced winners of two scholarships and one grant for 2014.
The InfantSEE Scholarships were awarded to Steven Kleen from Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at Marshall B. Ketchum University and Matthew Polster from Pacific University College of Optometry. Scholarship applicants needed to write an essay describing, among other points, what they see as major challenges in providing optometric care to infants, how they would overcome those challenges, and how their clinical experiences have directly contributed to their development as future participants in the InfantSEE program. The InfantSEE Scholarships are provided through donations from Vision West Inc.
Benjamin Foreman from Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University was awarded the 2014 Dr. Seymour Galina Grant, which is awarded annually in memory of the long-time AOA member. Grant applicants were required to write a 1,500-word essay describing qualities that they developed through financial planning/work experience during and/or before optometry school that the individuals believe will be most useful in a professional optometric practice. The grant is offered from the Galina Fund.
For more information about scholarships and grants, please visit www.aoafoundation.org.
Sight Beyond Normal Human Sight in Future Lens?
An article in the March 18 Tech Times reported that graphene imaging technology could make it possible for humans to see infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths in the near future. The article states that researchers at the University of Michigan connected two layers of graphene with a dielectric layer in between, creating an image sensor that could operate at room temperature and be integrated into a contact lens. This new graphene chip has 100 times the sensitivity of previous chips of this type, according to the article. Tech Times reports that the quality of the images that could be produced using this tri-layer system is now nearly identical to sensors in commercial digital cameras.
The article suggested applications such as integration to work with web-enabled phones, aids for rescue workers and soldiers, and advertising that would be visible only to people wearing the device.
The design of the new chip was profiled in the March 16 journal Nature.
■ MiraFlow Extra-Strength Daily Cleaner, previously manufactured by Ciba Vision and removed from the market in 2010, will once again be available for purchase through www.miraflow.com or through private practitioners who purchase MiraFlow through the site. Dr. William R. Martin, a private practitioner who has been in practice for 35 years, purchased the MiraFlow.com name and reports that the same manufacturer that made MiraFlow for Ciba Vision is now making it for his company. It will be available for purchase through the site in early spring.
■ CooperVision Inc. will collaborate with the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) to raise awareness of the company’s Adopt-a-Patient program. The initiative, which started in 2007, allows primarily third- and fourth-year optometry students to gain clinical experience by examining and fitting eligible patients in CooperVision’s contact lenses and providing them with follow-up care. Patients receive a complimentary year’s supply of their prescribed lenses from CooperVision. Optometry school students and faculty who want to take part can email Mark André at email@example.com.
■ Visionary Optics LLC has announced that Cassandra Gordon, NCLEC, has joined its staff as vice president of sales and marketing. The company expects that she will help expand the awareness of its current and future innovative specialty contact lenses. Ms. Gordon joins Visionary Optics after spending six years with X-Cel Contacts as a national key account manager and the academic program coordinator. She brings a wealth of specialty contact lens experience including assisting practitioners with patient fittings as well as facilitating scleral lens workshops. Visit www.visionary-optics.com.
■ PentaVision LLC, publisher of Contact Lens Spectrum, has created a new online directory in partnership with Media-Brains. The new directory will include comprehensive listings of equipment vendor resources, cross-referenced by 20 different equipment categories. The “Ophthalmic Diagnostic Instrument Directory” is built upon and replaces the print version of this same directory resource that appeared in past print issues of Ophthalmology Management and Optometric Management magazines (also published by PentaVision). The online version is a dynamic, real-time resource that enables participating companies to routinely update their listings as new products or product versions are launched, and to do so on a self-service basis. Visit www.ophthalmicequipmentdirectory.com.
■ The Optometric Historical Society (OHS) is seeking optometrists who are interested in optometric history to join the organization. OHS is a very small, not quite 50-year-old organization and exists solely for the purpose of providing original historical research on the profession and practice of optometry. The organization needs to boost its membership to help it stay active. Applications are available from Kristin Hebert, Optometric Historical Society, by calling (800) 365-2219 or by visiting www.aoafoundation.org/historical-gems.
■ Richard Clompus, OD, has launched Clompus Consulting Group LLC, an agency designed to bring strategic persuasion and presentation excellence to the eyecare industry. By utilizing a research methodology that helps to identify “success factors,” Clompus Consulting Group can help companies and eyecare professionals create and deliver memorable digital media. Visit www.clompusconsulting.com.
■ The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry’s (ASCO) Be a Doctor of Optometry: Put Your Future in Focus video is available from the ASCO website (www.opted.org) and its newly launched YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhD4g_mhrFM&feature=youtu.be). The video shows students, professors and Doctors of Optometry talking about what students learn and what they can expect from the profession once they graduate; it also demonstrates the caring and the more high-tech aspects of the profession. The video is the latest marketing tool developed for the ASCO-American Optometric Association Joint Project on Further Developing a Robust, Diverse, and High Qualified National Applicant Pool.
■ Vision Care Inventing LLC launched its www.VisionCareInventing.com (VCI) website. VCI is an interactive, knowledge-based community dedicated to identifying, supporting, and promoting innovative and impactful eyecare inventions and inventors. The site offers “inventions of the month” (starting in May), monthly podcasts from “major inventors” in the industry, and a Resource Center.