CooperVision Continues Science and Technology Awards Program
For the third consecutive year, CooperVision will offer the CooperVision Science and Technology (S&T) Awards Program, which will bring recipients and CooperVision scientists together to explore new areas of technology advancement in contact lens applications and enable the translation of concepts into real-world solutions. The focus on this year’s program is two-fold: 1) approaches to improve contact lens discomfort, including intervention and management strategies; and 2) technologies to enhance the functionality of contact lenses beyond conventional vision correction. The program is comprised of The CooperVision Seedling Award and The CooperVision Translational Research Award.
The CooperVision Seedling Award is intended to incentivize collaborations with CooperVision in a new research area for a one-year period. The award enables investigators to generate preliminary data that could be used toward a future CooperVision Translational Research Award. The maximum total cash amount for a CooperVision seedling is $100,000, including indirect costs. According to the company, two of its seedling awardees from 2013-2014 were turned into multi-year translational research awards.
A CooperVision Translational Research Award is a multi-year award for a substantive translational research project. Research under this award is milestone-driven to remain focused on a well-defined goal. This award provides funding for up to two years, totaling up to $400,000, including indirect costs. A maximum of $250,000 can be requested for any one year. A CooperVision Translational Research Award may be considered for renewal at the end of the initial research period.
Research proposals should demonstrate significant potential for research discoveries and technological advancements that can rapidly be commercialized to improve the performance, enhance the functionality, and/or broaden the use of contact lenses. For application information, visit http://coopervision.com/our-company/science-and-technology-awards.
AccuLens Sponsors Scleral Lens Academy
AccuLens has announced its sponsorship of the UCHealth Eye Clinic Scleral Lens Academy located at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute in Denver. This regional training center will educate eyecare practitioners, technicians, and residents on how to utilize scleral lenses in the management of ocular surface diseases and as an alternative to soft toric lenses. This Academy is designed to provide eyecare practitioners with a convenient, efficient venue for learning how to implement these new products into their practice.
AccuLens will be presenting these Saturday workshops frequently throughout the year. The course will consist of a morning lecture followed by an afternoon hands-on wet-lab in the clinic’s exam lanes.
Space will be limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. AccuLens is taking registrations now for the upcoming Academy scheduled on June 6, 2015 that will be taught by Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS. Contact AccuLens at (800) 525-2470, ext. 101 to reserve space.
AOA Announces Winners of Its 2015 Awards
Six winners were selected by the American Optometric Association (AOA) for its annual AOA Awards to be presented at Optometry’s Meeting in Seattle in June.
The Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes Louisiana State Senator David Heitmeier, OD, D-District 7, for his outstanding service on behalf of the profession and the visual welfare of the public.
The Young Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes Tamara Petrosyan, OD, of New Jersey, who has been in practice less than 10 years and demonstrates remarkable leadership when serving the profession, patients, and her community.
The Optometric Educator Award recognizes Tammy Than, OD, of Alabama, for outstanding service on behalf of the profession, optometric education, and the visual welfare of the public.
The Paraoptometric of the Year Award recognizes Marilyn Beeson, CPOA, of Mississippi, for her significant contributions to the field of paraoptometry.
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Lee Carr III, OD, of Oklahoma, for his unusually significant contributions to the profession of optometry.
The Apollo Award honors NewView Oklahoma, Inc., for distinguished service to the visual welfare of the public. The nonprofit organization is the leading employer of the blind and visually impaired in the state and Oklahoma’s only private agency that provides specialized vision rehabilitation services.
Celebrity Stylists to Support Air Optix Colors
Alcon, a division of Novartis, announced that “The Color Squad” will help promote its Air Optix Colors lenses this year. The team includes award-winning fashion stylist, Ilaria Urbinati; renowned hair stylist, Lacy Redway; and famed makeup artist, Scott Barnes. “The Color Squad” will inspire consumers around the globe to use Air Optix Colors lenses as a way to complement their makeup, hair, and fashion choices in a way that enhances their natural beauty.
Bringing red carpet experience with Hollywood’s most trend-setting and beautiful stars, team members will lend their expertise and provide Air Optix Colors fans with exclusive fashion and beauty tips as well as tutorials that relate to adding color through personal style. By changing their eye color, consumers can experiment with entirely new makeup palettes and wear shades they’d never thought possible—and “The Color Squad” will show them how through a series of tips, images, and videos to be released by Alcon in 2015.
Web-Based Tool for Custom Lenses
To make it easier for eyecare professionals to design and order precision-fit custom soft contact lenses, SpecialEyes, LLC has enhanced its online Arc Length Calculator to include ordering functionality directly from the Web-based tool. The custom contact lens manufacturer also added a brief video demo, presenting step-by-step directions for using sagittal depth measurements to design and order a trial pair of contact lenses.
P. Douglas Becherer, OD, FAAO, developed the SpecialEyes Arc Length Calculator based on a sagittal depth fitting philosophy, incorporating two basic measurements to calculate a patient’s corneal arc length. These measurements include the corneal diameter—also known as horizontal visible iris diameter (HVID)—and corneal curvature, as determined by keratometry (K) readings. Practitioners enter the HVID, central K readings, and manifest refraction into the online calculator, then click “Calculate” to view the mathematically computed contact lens design.
While the software will automatically generate a customized lens design, ECPs have the option to manually adjust the lens diameter and recalculate to update the design parameters. A dropdown menu allows users to select from three lens materials, and practitioners can specify prescription details such as add power, pupil diameter, and contact lens type in the comments section. Upon reviewing and approving the lens design, users can immediately submit an initial trial lens order. Visit www.specialeyesqc.com/calculator-welcome.php.
For the Record
In the March 2015 Product Spectrum, Visioneering Technologies, Inc. was mistakenly identified as Visionary Technologies, Inc. when discussing the recently launched NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day contact lens. Contact Lens Spectrum regrets the error.
Custom Craft Forms Agreement with EyeSpace
Custom Craft Lens Service has announced a U.S. distribution and manufacture agreement with EyeSpace by Innovatus Technology, a contact lens design software program that allows practitioners to upload topographical and refractive data to create unique lens designs. The software utilizes all topographical data in the design process, according to Custom Craft.
Coupled with this software is EyeSpace Cloud Services, a fully functional online ordering system that provides an accurate record of all lenses ordered, current manufacturing status, and tracking/delivery. All data is automatically backed up and safely stored, giving practitioners easy access to information when reordering patient lenses. This software was designed by optometrists, which the company says gives it a familiar interface. Call (800) 232-3937 or visit www.EyeSpaceUS.com.
AOA Offers ICD-10 Resources
The compliance deadline for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) is Oct. 1, 2015. Once in effect, this will serve as the new system for reporting medical conditions on insurance claims and in patient records.
With less than six months left for practitioners to prepare to adopt new coding guidelines, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is providing guidance and support to the profession.
Resources available from the AOA include:
• The AOA’s Third Party Center Coding Experts, who are available to answer questions about ICD-10 and other coding topics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• A 10-part ICD-10 webinar series developed by AOA’s Coding Experts. The webinar series is available exclusively to members at www.aoa.org/coding.
• Kara Webb, the AOA’s associate director for coding and regulatory policy, is also available to answer questions about ICD-10 and related topics at KCWebb@aoa.org.
• A no-cost, members-only, online resource, AOACodingToday.com, offers CPT/ICD-9/ICD-10 information.
• The 2015 Coding Bundle includes the 2015 AOA ICD-10 Codes for Optometry Book, 2015 AMA Professional Edition CPT Book, and AOA Express Mapping Card. A digital download version of the Codes for Optometry Book is also available at aoa.org/marketplace.
Solutionreach Partners with Healthgrades
Solutionreach, Inc., which produces patient engagement solutions that help healthcare providers communicate and connect more meaningfully with their patients, has formed a partnership with Healthgrades, an online resource for comprehensive information about practitioners and hospitals. Through the partnership, healthcare providers who use the Solutionreach platform will be able to build a comprehensive, differentiated profile so they can more effectively connect with patients and increase visibility to consumers using Healthgrades to find a practitioner. In addition, prospective patients will be able to request an appointment directly from a provider’s profile, and the request will be seamlessly integrated within the Solutionreach interface.
■ Organizers of the 1st World Congress of Optometry announced that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies is to be the event’s headline sponsor. The Congress, organized by the World Council of Optometry and the Colombian Federation of Optometrists, takes place Aug. 14 to 16, 2015 in Medellin, Colombia. It will be the first global event to encompass all aspects of optometry to share knowledge, explore clinical and technological innovation, and establish an agreed holistic policy for the sector and for the future of accessible eye health care. During the Congress, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care will deliver a keynote lecture and will also address the Presidents’ Forum.
■ Contamac, Ltd. has announced the appointment of John McGregor to chairman and Robert McGregor to be his successor as managing director of the company. John McGregor founded Contamac in 1987 and has led the company up to this point. He will continue to play an active role in the company. Robert McGregor joined the company in 1994 and for the past decade has led its sales, marketing, R&D, and business development activities. Contamac says that the company has been steadily restructured over the last three years in readiness for this change in leadership. The company further states that the move to a larger, purpose-built facility provides an exceptional platform for the next stage of Contamac’s expansion and, importantly, its research strategy.
■ Alden Optical has promoted Maggie Walsh to director of consultation. In this new role, she will direct the growing consultation team to ensure that they are supporting the company’s customers with the best possible fitting guidance, training, and technical expertise. Walsh brings almost 40 years of specialty lens fitting and consultation experience to this new position.
■ Optovue has launched its Guaranteed ROI Program, a risk-free way for practices to evaluate the ROI they can generate with an optical coherence tomographer (OCT) before purchasing. The program lets practices try an iVue, iFusion, or iScan spectral domain (SD)-OCT for up to 60 days. Optovue installs the instrument at no charge to the practice. Optovue also provides an in-practice training session for practitioners and staff and ongoing support from a Practice Implementation Consultant. At the end of the evaluation period, Optovue will provide an ROI report detailing the practice’s ability to generate revenue with an Optovue OCT. The practice may then choose to purchase the instrument or return it to Optovue.
■ Shire plc announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing the New Drug Application (NDA) for lifitegrast and granted a Priority Review designation. The NDA filing is supported by the totality of evidence from four clinical trials with more than 1,800 patients. These include one Phase 2 study, two Phase 3 efficacy and safety studies, and one long-term Phase 3 safety study. Lifitegrast is an investigational treatment for dry eye disease in adults and, if approved, has the potential to be the first treatment indicated to address both signs and symptoms of the disease. The FDA is expected to provide a decision on Oct. 25, 2015, based on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act V action date.
■ Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a developer of ophthalmic products based on its proprietary mucus-penetrating particle (MPP) technology, announced positive top-line results from a Phase 2 clinical trial of KPI-121, its nanoparticle loteprednol etabonate MPP product candidate, in patients who have dry eye disease. KPI-121 achieved statistical significance for the primary sign endpoint of bulbar conjunctival hyperemia, and promising trends were observed for key symptom endpoints.
■ Prevent Blindness and its partners announce the fourth annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit, to be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Summit will include a variety of presentations related to this year’s theme, “Game Changers in Vision,” featuring efforts and advances that are expected to significantly change how we think about and deliver eye care into the future. The Summit will also highlight initial steps by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on the development of a “Vision & Public Health” Report supported by Prevent Blindness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Eye Institute, and other leading eye health organizations. Attendees of this free event will include patient advocates, national vision and eye health organizations, government representatives, and community-based organizations.