Millicent Knight, OD, VP Professional Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, North America, leads the development of the professional strategy across the United States. She also directs its professional and education platform through The Vision Care Institute, LLC and other educational outreach programs. Prior to her appointment in 2014, she practiced optometry for over 25 years.
Richard Clompus: I understand the Vistakon name is going away. What will it be replaced with?
Millicent Knight: As pioneers of lens innovation (we are the creators of the first disposable soft contact lens), the Vistakon name is our heritage. We want to keep that proud legacy and at the same time spotlight the fact that we’re part of the Johnson & Johnson family of global companies. Our new name will transition to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
RC: Contact lens technology continues to improve. Can you share the latest material technology to be introduced?
MK: Our unique approach to innovation at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is called Eye-Inspired Design. It begins with our deep understanding of patient lifestyle needs, as well as the needs of the eyecare professionals. We then create solutions to meet their needs””always with a focus on complementing the natural function of the eye.
Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology was designed with that approach. We created this lens to help keep contact lens wearers comfortable throughout what we refer to as their “demanding days.” Those of us who use smartphones and are staring at laptops all day, and maybe work in air-conditioned buildings, can relate to the feeling of lens discomfort by the end of the day. Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology helps solve that by working consistently throughout the day to help support a stable tear film.
RC: Optics introduced in the 1-Day Acuvue Moist brand Multifocal contact lenses are very different from other presbyopic contact lenses. Can you explain the science behind this breakthrough?
MK: Everything we do begins with our Eye-Inspired Design approach, and we really wanted to give doctors the power to transform and transition patients who love the comfort and health benefits of the Moist platform, while helping presbyopic patients return to the level of vision they were used to.
Key technology advances in the 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multifocal that help address this unmet presbyopic patient need include: a unique aspheric center-near design for the presbyopic eye, with innovative pupil optimization that matches optical design to pupil size; 61 distance powers and three add powers; a hybrid back-curve design; and Lacreon technology, a unique process that permanently embeds the wetting agent PVP in the lens material.
RC: As a contact lens specialist for much of my career, I always relied on companies to produce new technology to improve patient care. For the past few years, it seems like there was a slow down with new contact lens materials and optics. Is that about to change?
MK: I can only speak to our company’s pace, but I can assure you, there’s no slowing down for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. We’ve identified several key patient and eyecare professional needs that we feel we can help solve. Based on those unmet needs, we’ve committed to introducing at least two new products per year over a five-year period (which began in 2015″”when we actually brought four products to market). We hope you’ll wait and watch for what’s coming next!