PRODUCT BUZZ

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LAUNCHES, PROMOTIONS, MERCHANDISING, EVENTS AND OTHER THINGS TO KEEP YOU IN THE KNOW.

COA ISSUES WARNINGS ABOUT ONLINE VISION TESTS
The California Optometric Association has cautioned California consumers that self-administered “vision tests” conducted online come with significant safety concerns and appear to violate federal law. In a letter to the California Attorney General, the COA said Opternative, and its partner, 1-800 Contacts, appear to be violating an October 30, 2017, Food and Drug Administration letter demanding that Opternative cease marketing its online product in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA letter said the app requires a premarket submission in order to allow the FDA to evaluate its safety and effectiveness.

In a letter to the California Attorney General, COA president Ranjeet S. Bajwa, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO wrote, “Public health is therefore potentially threatened by a medical device actively marketed to the public despite not having gone through the required review and approval processes demanded by the FDA.”

The American Optometric Association also has warned that online vision tests are “no substitute for an in-person, comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.”

Transitions Optical also has stated that while today’s employees are interested in coverage of online vision tests, there is a tremendous lack of understanding regarding what these tests entail, as well as a great need to educate employees on the importance of not skipping out on their annual, comprehensive appointments.

According to the ninth annual Transi-tions Optical Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey, half of employees not already enrolled in a vision plan said that they would be more likely to enroll if the plan “fully covered online eye exams.” Furthermore, six in 10 employees said they would be more likely to get their eyes checked more often if their employer offered this coverage.

But despite this initial interest, the survey also found that most employees do not understand what online vision tests are—with two-thirds saying they are “unfamiliar with online eye exams,” and nearly half saying they are “very unfamiliar” with them. More alarmingly, the research revealed that four in 10 employees believe that “online eye exams that provide glasses or contact lens prescriptions are a suitable replacement for in-office eye exams.”

BLANCHARD INTRODUCES CPR PROCESS FOR ONEFIT, ONEFIT MED
Blanchard Contact Lenses has unveiled its latest design option for Onefit and Onefit MED scleral lenses. Control Peripheral Recess, or “CPR,” is a manufacturing process that creates a precise, controlled and reproducible peripheral recess on a lens (notch) to accommodate pingueculas and any other types of growths and shunts. CPR technology is available on all Onefit lens designs (spherical, sym-toric, toric peripheral curve and quadrant specific). A user-friendly CPR Tool, available on the company’s website, simplifies the design and ordering process and provides a visual representation of the lens design. Go to BlanchardLab.com

OPTOMETRIC NETWORK TO MONITOR SYSTEMIC MEDICATION EFFECTS
Vision Source this month plans to launch My Treatment Monitor, a national optometric network to improve patient care outcomes for people living with and taking medications for chronic diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hyperlipidemia and Alzheimer’s. Through My Treatment Monitor, Vision Source optometrists will lead the process of monitoring patients taking medications to treat chronic disease that have possible ocular side effects. Optometrists will provide comprehensive medical examinations for patients with a chronic disease diagnosis as a pre-existing condition. After a drug to treat chronic disease is prescribed, doctors will ensure their patients are examined to establish that no pre-existing conditions affect the patient’s safety. Vision Source providers will also monitor patients on treatment medications to ensure patient safety continues. Go to VisionSource.com or call 888.558.2020.

FOR THE RECORD:
In “Product Buzz” we described Eyefinity’s new Kiosk application which lets patients securely and efficiently enter their personal information and health history, sign consent forms, and select their pharmacy via Google Maps. The next sentence should have read, “Then, all of this data automatically populates in the EHR.”

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
SEPTEMBER 20-23, 2018
The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International (NORA) Clinical Skills Pre-Conference (September 20-21) and 27th annual General Conference (September 21-23), St. Louis. The Clinical Skills program provides 12 hours of continuing education and includes both hands-on and lecture-style presentations about anatomy and physiology in relation to traumatic brain injury rehabilitative care, advanced applications of general and neuro-optometric rehabilitation, Lyme disease and nutrition. The NORA General Conference offers up to 14 additional hours of continuing education for optometrists and allied professionals. Go to NORAVisonRehab.com.

NOVEMBER 6, 2018
EyeInnovate, Los Angeles. Marketing4ECPs, a digital marketing firm, launched this, a one-day marketing education event, in which 12 speakers will discuss different social media platforms, online search secrets, search engine optimization and reputation management through review platforms. The program will also feature talks from representatives from Google and YELP, who will discuss how to “Unlock Eyecare Business Opportunities with the Power of the Internet” and “YELP and the High Intent Consumer,” respectively. EyeInnovate will also feature vendor exhibits. For more information and to register, go to EyeInnovate2018.com.

NEWS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Bausch + Lomb’s ULTRA family of contact lenses for extended wear of up to six nights and seven days of continuous wear.

Avedro, Inc. has secured $25 million in financing led by Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) with major participation from existing investors OrbiMed Advisors, InterWest Partners and HealthQuest Capital. Avedro plans to invest the funding in product development, clinical studies and commercial efforts.

The Cooper Companies, Inc. has promoted Brian Andrews to senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, succeeding Albert White, who is now president and CEO.

Paragon Vision Sciences, a part of CooperVision, recently hosted a group of 18 top key opinion leaders and researchers from throughout China in partnership with Essilor China. Lectures covered treatment and management of myopia and fitting and patient management of CRT and specialty contact lenses.

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