CANDID CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN OPTOMETRIC OFFICE’S RICHARD CLOMPUS AND LEADING OPTICAL EXECUTIVES ABOUT THEIR PRODUCT STRATEGIES.
Tom Shone is President of Alden Optical and co-owner of the company with CEO Charley Creighton. Prior to joining Alden in 2009, Tom held a variety of marketing and management positions at CooperVision for over 20 years including President, U.S. Operations. Together with Charley, he has developed several lens designs to assist the specialty practice in achieving greater contact lens wear and markedly better outcomes among its patients.
Richard Clompus: Usually gas permeable (GP) lenses come to mind when thinking about fitting keratoconic patients with a contact lens. How have NovaKone’ soft lenses changed this?
Tom Shone: Everyone agrees that while patients often find soft keratoconus lenses more comfortable, the problem has historically been complex fitting issues and poor outcomes. NovaKone changes all that by offering a simple yet effective three-step diagnostic fitting process and advanced optics that ensure great vision for all but really severe keratoconus or pellucid margin degeneration. Key to the lens’ optical performance is aspheric back-surface optics, thickness control to eliminate irregular astigmatism, and Alden’s legendary toric optics and stabilization. More than 700 practices worldwide work with NovaKone.
Richard: What do you recommend when a company discontinues a lens for a patient when it’s the only one that really works?
Tom: Alden has the manufacturing and design ability to replicate many discontinued lens designs through our Phoenix Program. It allows practitioners to keep patients in lens designs that have proven successful for them. As a custom manufacturer, we can combine multiple material options with full design flexibility to replicate discontinued brands. The Phoenix Program page on our website has a comprehensive list of brands we can reproduce.
Richard: Alden recently introduced a mini-scleral lens called the Zenlensâ„¢. How has this been received by practitioners?
Tom: We have been, quite frankly, blown away by the reception practitioners have given Zenlens. We knew that the lens design that Jason Jedlicka, OD, and Charley Creighton developed was going to be popular, but ECPs have really embraced the comprehensive design, the power of the Smart Curveâ„¢ to simplify fit adjustments, and the well-designed landing zone. With two designs (prolate and oblate) and two diameters (16mm and 17mm), Zenlens has become the “go to” scleral for the majority of fits in some of the most demanding specialty practices in the country. We are also fortunate to have three very experienced consultants to support fitting. This has been a really enjoyable product launch and we feel like we are really helping practitioners make a difference.
Richard: Prosthetic tinted lenses can be a life changer for patients. Can you share what can be done with BioColorsâ„¢ custom lenses?
Tom: BioColors is predicated on our HP Toric and Sphere design as the base lens, so a wide range of parameters is always available to enable a practitioner to customize the fit to the patient’s requirements. Orion Vision Group’s outstanding tint technology adds beautiful opaque tints and a wide variety on prosthetic-oriented options. The result is a super powerful prosthetic solution. So many prospective prosthetic wearers have disfigurements and scarring that restrict their ability or desire to lead a normal lifestyle. BioColors, with its vast array of color options and parameter availability, offers these patients the opportunity to lead a normal life.