This month, we focus on custom soft and GP lens manufacturer Advanced Vision Technologies (AVT). I recently had the pleasure to speak with President/CEO Keith Parker.
Mr. Parker, please tell us about your company in terms of its history and direction.
AVT was founded in 2004 in Golden, CO. My partner, Janine Bugno, and I have more than 65 years of manufacturing and clinical fitting experience. AVT has grown to 16 employees, and our five consultants offer more than 120 years of consultation experience. We most recently welcomed Al Vaske, who is known for introducing the Rose K Distribution Network and for the Dyna Intra-Limbal series of lenses.
We purchased our current building in 2014 and recently added 4,500 square feet of space. Our passion is education—helping our customers help their patients with their contact lens needs. The building expansion allows us to offer hands-on training seminars and workshops on an array of practice management- and technology-based topics.
Manufacturing quality lenses and delivering them on time is our top priority, and excellence in customer service is our goal. We truly believe that experienced consultation is our key to success.
Tell us about any new products or new developments in which AVT is involved.
We recently launched the Prime series, which is a family of intra-limbal GP designs for all types of corneal conditions.
The new facility allows us to see patients by referral as a service to our customers. Our experience in the R&D clinic with fitting highly irregular and diseased eyes has aided the development of our products. For example, AVT is the exclusive manufacturer of EyePrint in the United States, and EyePrint is different with its impression-based, elevation-specific, highly customized technology. Pioneering the manufacturing techniques for these devices has pushed the limits of today’s already sophisticated lathes.
The impression-based technology has also expanded our understanding of the physical shape beyond the limbus, which helped with the development of our new Naturalens Ultra-Limbal mini-scleral design. This lens is larger than a corneal lens but smaller than a scleral, and it’s easily fit from elevation maps and best-fit sphere data.
Our newest soft multifocal design features a decentered aspheric power profile that personalizes the optical axis of the lens with a patient’s individual visual axis. We plan to roll this lens out in early 2019.
We also recently purchased Continental Soft Lens, which expanded our product line and our material options for our soft lens customers.
Tell us your vision for the contact lens field in the short term (less than 5 years) and in the long term (20 years from now).
We believe that custom soft lens options are going to become a welcome alternative for many patients who have irregular corneas and compromised refractive needs.
The scleral lens market will continue to grow and will include ultra-limbal mini-sclerals and larger sclerals just for normal corneas. Materials keep getting better, and combined with excellent surface treatments, we’re going to see improved compliance that will open the door for more GP-based products.
Long term, myopia and hyperopia management with contact lenses is going to be a true reality. Practitioners will have options for managing the progression of visual performance, especially for children.
AVT has developed a young team of consultants and management for the years to come who are at the forefront of R&D and technology. It is our desire to always be able to offer new options. We have a lot of great advances to come, and it’s fun to see the excitement that we will be able to offer in the future. CLS