This article originally appeared in the Nov-Dec 2014 edition of INVISION.
SEE AN EYE DOC FOR YOUR LENSES
EYECARE STARTUPS GET A SHOWCASEPhoropter-less refraction technology from DigitalVision Systems and presbyopia-reversing eye drops from Encore Vision were voted the “most poised for success” and “most innovative and disruptive” among eyecare inventions showcased at the inaugural Future in Focus event before Vision Expo West. DigitalVision System’s Vision Optimizer virtual refraction platform, developed with Georgia Tech, is in clinical trials now. Bill Burns of Encore Vision told participants that the company’s eye drops lessened lens stiffening in pre-clinical trials. A day before the conference, the Wall Street Journal reported that startups addressing eye problems drew $848.9 million in 2013, the most for any body part. A second Future in Focus event is set before Vision Expo East 2015 in March. Information: thefutureinfocus.com
EYE BIZ LEADERS LAUNCH NEW APPSTwo big vision care companies have recently launched apps, and another should debut soon. VSP Optics’ new fitting app, My Eye.D., helps eyecare pros customize Unity lenses and coating options based on each patient’s prescription, frame and lifestyle. A UV Protection App from the Vision Care Institute (part of Johnson & Johnson) helps ECPs explain the causes and effects of UV exposure and ways to stay safe in the sun year-round. Both are available now in the App Store. Meanwhile, Essilor is partnering with AllAboutVision.com to create a mobile app, AskAboutEyes. Dr. Paul Karpecki will manage a network of paid ECPs across the country to answer users’ questions on eye health. Information: invmag.us/11148
FASHION DESIGNERS NAME EYEWEAR TEAMA dozen eyewear designers — part of a new working group within the Council of Fashion Designers of America — will build awareness of eyewear’s growing role in the American fashion industry. Members of the Eyewear Designers of the CFDA are Barbara McReynolds, L.A. Eyeworks; Blake Kuwahara, Focus Group West; Christian Roth, Optical Affairs; Daniel Silberman, Illesteva; Gai Gheradi, L.A. Eyeworks; Grant Krajecki, Grey Ant; Justin Salguero, Illesteva; Larry Leight, Oliver Peoples; Natalie Levy, Grey Ant; Patty Perreira, Barton Perreira; Robert Marc, Robert Marc; Selima Salaun, Selima Optique; and Shane Baum, Leisure Society.
HELP PATIENTS CONTROL DIABETESNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month, and Prevent Blindness estimates that the number of diabetic retinopathy cases in the U.S. — currently more than 8 million — will grow to almost 11 million by 2032. The organization lists “7 DED-ly Sins” those at high risk must watch for: Not visiting an eye doctor annually if you have diabetes or are at high risk; not maintaining a healthy weight; decreasing physical activity; failing to monitor blood sugar levels; not maintaining healthy blood pressure; smoking; and not getting a dilated eye exam if you become or plan to become pregnant. Information: invmag.us/11145
AARP.ORG USERS GET AN EYEFULThe Vision Council is running a campaign on AARP.org. The ads include information on general eye health, low vision and eyewear as fashion. AARP.org averages more than 6 million monthly visitors.
OPTI 2015 SET JAN. 9-11Since its debut in 1998, Opti in Germany has become a key spot to see fresh optics and fine design trends. The trade fair returns to Munich in mid-January. Last year’s show had 500 exhibitors on hand from 34 countries, and organizers expect more than 23,000 visitors to shop the exhibition grounds during the 2015 edition. For tickets , travel information and an online catalog: opti.de/en