Holly Swain, OD, received her doctor of optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry and a BS in applied biol-ogy from Ferris State University. She previously worked for a cataract specialist before switching to capital equipment sales. She joined Icare USA, Inc., in 2015 as product manager and soon after earned a marketing strategy certificate from Cornell University.
Richard Clompus, OD, FAAO: Following graduation, did you know you wanted to work in the ophthalmic device industry?
Holly Swain, OD: Ever since my first encounter in this industry, I knew I wanted to be involved in optometry.
My first encounter was with the family optometrist. When I was in second grade, I failed the school vision screening. I was amazed how the doctor put this machine in front of my face, moved some dials and I could see clearly for the first time. I wanted to know how he could make my world crisp and clear by moving these dials.
Today, I am excited to work for a company that is invested in helping doctors and patients—not just locally but globally—learn more about their intraocular pressure.
RC: How has the Icare ic100 handheld tonometer changed how ODs measure IOP?
HS: We live in a fast-paced world and are always looking for ways to be more efficient. With the Icare ic100 tonometer, no anesthetic drops or specialized skills are needed to run the device. It is quick, easy to use, accurate and repeatable. Goldmann tonometry remains the gold standard in IOP measurement. Nevertheless, there are some patients whose IOP we cannot measure using this method.
RC: The Icare HOME self tonometer received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 21, 2017. Can you describe its use and benefits for treating glaucoma?
HS: The HOME tonometer is designed for patients to measure their own pressures outside the doctor’s office. We know IOP fluctuates throughout the day, but we don’t know how much, how often or when. The HOME tonometer could help identify these IOP variations and/or spikes and give us more information regarding that patient’s pressures.
Several uses come to mind: in patients who show glaucoma progression on optical coherence tomography even though their IOP appears to be controlled during clinic visits, before and/or after administering a new drop or laser procedure, as well as in glaucoma suspects. The HOME tonometer will provide a better range of that patient’s IOP throughout the day and help us better understand IOP in some of these situations.
Self-tonometry is a valuable adjunct to clinic. However, diagnosis and management decisions will continue to be based on established methods of evaluating IOP, optic nerve and visual fields.
RC: How will advances in diagnostic instruments and wireless connectivity impact the delivery of eyecare in the next five years?
HS: As more diagnostic instruments go wireless, I suspect there will be a lot more remote testing in the future. I envision patients having a variety of tests done at one location and going home. The doctor will interpret the results and devise a plan from a distance.
There are pros and cons to this situation. For patients who don’t have the means to see an eye doctor, this could be an alternate way to have their eyes evaluated. However, the patient is not present when the doctor needs to run another test, has questions about the patient’s history or, more importantly, educate that patient. In my opinion, not having the direct interaction between doctors and patients could minimize the importance of patient education and their conditions.