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AOA Clinical Practice Guideline Receives National Recognition

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The American Optometric Association’s first evidence-based clinical practice guideline, Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus, is now posted to a professionally recognized clearinghouse for health care guidelines, the National Guideline Clearinghouse.

A database of clinical guidelines, the NGC is maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Guidelines must meet stringent standards to be accepted, and must provide evidence-based recommendations or action plans for patient care.

Posting to the clearinghouse means the diabetes guideline is publicly available for other health care professionals, institutions and agencies to reference with knowledge that it has met NGC standards, said Diane Adamczyk, O.D., chair of the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry (EBO) Committee, which released the guideline in February 2014.

“The rigorous process of developing this guideline has now met the high standards of the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which is truly a sentinel event,” Dr. Adamczyk said. 

Revised standards from the Institute of Medicine in 2011 called for new clinical guidelines to adhere to a stringent evidence-based approach to development. In context of the diabetes guideline, this included a cross-disciplinary review from top diabetes experts and specialists, and hundreds of scientific papers and studies over the course of two and a half years. 

The milestone 83-page diabetes guideline is a pertinent resource for optometrists, as nearly one-third of U.S. adults are estimated to have diabetes by 2050.

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In addition to a clinical breakdown of diabetes mellitus, prevention and diagnostic criteria, the guideline also assists doctors in achieving prescribed objectives in diabetes-related care, including: 

  • Identifying diabetes’ tell-tale markers, and reducing the risk of vision loss through timely diagnosis, intervention and action;
  • Improving the quality of care for people with diabetes;
  • Educating patients and care providers regarding ocular complications of diabetes, and the benefits of vision rehabilitation; and,
  • Suggesting vision rehabilitation services or referral of people with vision loss from diabetes.

Doctors also can use the diabetes quick-reference guide, a summary version of the guideline in a condensed, nine-page format for easy access.  

 

To view the guideline, please click here. If you’d like more information about the guideline, visit www.aoa.org/evidence or contact Danette Miller at (314) 9834155 or DMiller@aoa.org.

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Coburn Technologies Introduces TruBlu Edging Pads

It’s a general-purpose blocking pad.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SOUTH WINDSOR, CT – Coburn Technologies, Inc. introduces TruBlu edging pads. Compatible with all types of lens materials, styles and base curves, TruBlu is a general-purpose blocking pad, which also provides a secure bond on most AR coatings. TruBlu edging pads are manufactured at the Coburn manufacturing facility in South Windsor, Connecticut.

“With proven performance at various testing facilities worldwide, TruBlu Edging pads are engineered for excellent adhesion,” states Khristina Selley, consumables sales manager at Coburn Technologies.

“TruBlu also provides excellent torque resistance with clean removability from the lens and block,” states Selley. She added, “TruBlu edging pads are available in most common shapes and configurations with a precision die cut.”

TruBlu edging pads will be showcased at this year’s Vision Expo West in Las Vegas at booth LP6075 and are also available through Coburn’s brand new e-commerce site, www.shopcoburn.com, where eye care professionals can conveniently order consumables and spare parts. For more information, visit the site or directly contact a representative at 1-800-COBURN1.

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Innovega Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign with Crowdfunder

Funds will be earmarked to move Innovega’s eMacula toward commercial launch.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BELLEVUE, WA — Innovega Inc., a company engaged in developing stylish, lightweight, wearable display technology with a panoramic field of view for virtual and augmented reality, launched an equity crowdfunding round with Crowdfunder, a leader in funding high-growth ventures. Funds will be earmarked to move Innovega’s eMacula toward commercial launch.

Innovega’s eMacula is a wearable display system that includes patented disposable soft contact lenses (“smart lenses”) and a range of display eyewear (“smart glasses”). This combination system meets wearers’ parallel demands for lightweight, stylish eyewear and access to high-quality media with a high-resolution, panoramic field of view. eMacula provides a synthesis of features that is unavailable in other AR/VR products — which are typically encumbered by heavy, obtrusive headsets or eyewear with a narrow display field.

With a network of more than 130,000 entrepreneurs and investors, Crowdfunder is an equity crowdfunding leader for sourcing and funding high-growth ventures. Crowdfunder provides access to a global network of accredited investors who participate in funding startups.

Innovega’s business model allows established contact lens manufacturers to bring the eMacula system’s smart lenses to market, and allows multiple manufacturing and distribution partners to commercialize its display eyewear, configured for many applications or use cases. Its patented portfolio of Enhanced Retina Technologies covers the system of contact lenses and smart glasses, including key sub-systems such as eye tracking, and is protected by twenty-six filed patent applications and thirteen granted U.S. patents.

To learn more about Innovega and the eMacula system, and the opportunity for equity investment during the current limited-time funding round, please visit https://www.crowdfunder.com/innovega.

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VSP Global Premier Program to Launch National Consumer Advertising Campaign and Program Enhancements

This is in support of private practice.

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(PRESS RELEASE) RANCHO CORDOVA, CA – As part of its commitment to support private practice Doctors of Optometry, theVSP Global Premier Program announced it will launch a national consumer advertising campaign, designed to drive patients to Premier Program practices. Debuting later this month, a mix of television, radio, outdoor, and digital advertising will motivate patients to schedule an appointment at a local Premier Program private practice, where they can maximize their benefits and receive a personalized eye care experience.

Enhancements to the Premier Program were also announced to provide doctors more of what they are asking for: improved revenue opportunities, more patients, marketing and exclusive offers, as well as access to the best brands and robust staff training and education.

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Through a new tiered loyalty framework, the Premier Program offers a competitive advantage to private practice through business-building benefits, increased patient traffic, and greater profitability.

“Doctors have asked for greater choice and flexibility, and we’re excited to expand the Premier Program in response to that feedback and support private practice’s ability to differentiate and compete,” said Michelle Skinner, VSP Global’s chief provider relations officer.

Practices can choose their level of participation from three new distinct tiers. To unlock the benefits, practices must meet tier criteria, including flexible combined purchases within the last 12 months from Marchon Eyewear, Altair Eyewear, and VSP Optics. Qualifying practices must also offer consumer conveniences like retinal imaging, exclusive VSP ‘Member Extra’ offers, and free fittings and adjustments. Tiers and key benefits include:

  • Silver: Practices can leverage My Marketing Team to increase patient engagement and will have full access toPremier Academy360.
  • Gold: In addition to enjoying all Silver benefits, practices will receive thePremier Program banner, enhancing their listing on vsp.com to increase patient traffic, complete with online appointment scheduling and more. They will also enjoy special offers and discounts withPremier Program Partners.
  • Platinum: In addition to all Silver and Gold benefits, practices will unlockadditional payments and rewards. They will also have access to job posting andrecruitment services, as well as enhanced marketing services, including complimentary social media management and much more.

Practices can learn more at: EnhancedPremier.com

Additionally, in response to feedback from doctors, Premier Academy360 is a new educational platform which will soon be made available to practices participating in the Premier Program. Premier Academy360 will offer comprehensive training and education programs tailored to VSP network doctors and staff. Designed to expand potential practice services, enhance the patient experience, and save doctors time and money on staff development, it will include 24/7 online education, webinars, and in-person workshops.

Since the Premier Program’s inception in 2013, $9.2 billion in revenue has been delivered to participating practices, with over 32 million patient visits – with nearly half of them being new patients. Data shows that practices with the Premier Program banner average 2 times more clicks on the vsp.com ‘Find A Doctor’ directory than those without. In 2018, VSP sent 1.4 million members direct marketing encouraging them to visit Premier Program locations to maximize their vision benefits and take advantage of special offers, which helped reduce out-of-network claims.

“In fulfilling our mission of helping people see, we remain committed to connecting VSP members with the core of our network – Premier Program private practices,” added Michael Guyette, president and CEO of VSP Global. “We’re excited by these new investments in the program because they are critical to fulfilling that commitment.”

Additional investments and business-driving initiatives will be announced through the end of 2019, with more to debut at ‘SHiFT19,’ the annual Premier Program meeting in late October.

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