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INVISION² Pops Up at Vision Expo!

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Experience free, fast-paced pop-up talks.

Check out INVISION² with the winner of America’s Finest Optical Retailer 2017: Invision Optometry.

The event will feature Deirdre Carroll, editor-in-chief of INVISION magazine, and Dr. Michael Klin of Invision Optometry, San Diego, CA. It will be held Friday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m. at the Vision Expo Content Studio (G22017).

Founded in 1999, Invision Optometry started as a one-doctor location. Today, with 7,800 square feet, two stories, seven exam lanes, unique interview rooms, a spacious retail environment, a conference room and an optical lab, Kling has evolved into one of the largest single-location practices in San Diego. Come hear how he did it!  

From business to fashion, this new concept in learning gets you up to date in 30 minutes. See the full schedule of pop-up talks taking place right on the show floor. No RSVP is required!

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SPONSORED BY KENMARK

Jump In — the Water’s Fine!

With a salute to summer’s shimmery, mermaid colors and warm weather-loving shades, Kenmark Eyewear celebrates this summer’s Aloha spirit with eyewear from Vera Wang, Kensie, Zac Posen and the Original Penguin Collection!

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Report Reveals HSA Spending Habits, Including Vision’s Share

Health Savings Account platform provider Lively released a new report.

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SAN FRANCISCO — About 5 percent of Health Savings Account money went toward vision and eyewear in 2019, according to a new report.

The HSA Spend Report from HSA platform provider Lively provides a view into how and where consumers spend on healthcare costs each year.

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The findings show that overall, 96 percent of annual contributions were spent on expected expenses and routine visits, “indicating that the rising cost of healthcare is preventing people from achieving the long-term benefits of using an HSA to save for unexpected health events and the high cost of healthcare in retirement.”

“Rising healthcare costs will have serious implications on the wellbeing of individuals and families,” said Shobin Uralil, COO and Co-Founder of Lively. “As much as people are increasingly putting HSA money aside, our 2019 report alerts us to one dangerous outcome: rather than saving funds to create a safety net for healthcare costs into retirement, Americans have to use almost the entirety of their HSAs to cover basic health needs every year.”

Where did the money go?

In 2019, the average HSA account holder spent their savings on doctor visits and services (50 percent); prescription drug costs (10 percent); dental care (16 percent); vision and eyewear (5 percent); chiropractor (3 percent); lab work (2 percent); and other (1 percent).

Other key findings and trends:

While traditional pharmacies lead in healthcare spending, superstores and online retailers are becoming increasingly popular for consumer health spending.

  • Traditional national pharmacies reign supreme: Of the total 10 percent Rx spend, 76 percent of transactions were at Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.
  • Superstores are nipping at their heels: 8 percent of spending happened at pharmacies in Target, Walmart, Costco and Sam’s Club.
  • Amazon is lurking: While only a small percentage of HSA purchases occurred through Amazon, the web giant captured a large portion of web and mobile purchases (vs. in-store).
  • Online spending is key for vision and mental health: More than 15 percent of all HSA vision and eyecare spending happened online, dominated by 1-800-Contacts and Warby Parker. Additionally, more than 15 percent of all mental health spending was through virtual experience apps, and/or digital experiences that connect consumers to mental health professionals.

Healthcare spending increased across all categories.

  • Doctor visits & services spending increased moderately by 22 percent, from 41 percent in 2018 to 50 percent in 2019.
  • Hospital spending increased 114 percent – from 7 percent in 2018 to 15 percent in 2019.
  • Dental spending increased 78 percent – from 9 percent in 2018 to 16 percent in 2019.

“High deductible healthcare plans are the new norm, and that’s not going to change anytime soon,” said Uralil. “Combine that with rising healthcare costs in almost every consumer spend category, HSAs are now vital to affording everyday necessities in this country. As such, we must ensure that Americans with HDHPs take advantage of HSAs to put more savings in their pockets.”

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These Self-Moisturizing Contact Lenses Combat Dry Eye

The system uses electroosmotic flow.

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Moisturizing Contact Lenses

(PRESS RELEASE) Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a new type of smart contact lenses that they say can prevent dry eyes. The self-moisturizing system, which is described in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, maintains a layer of fluid between the contact lens and the eye.

Smart contact lenses are wearable devices that could accelerate vision beyond natural human capabilities, according to a press release from the university. They are being developed for a wide range of applications, from non-invasive monitoring to vision correction to augmented reality display.

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“Although there have been many recent advancements in new functions for smart contact lenses, there has been little progress in solving the drawbacks associated with wearing contact lenses day to day,” says Professor Matsuhiko Nishizawa, an engineer at Tohoku University.

One of the biggest problems with contact lenses is they can cause “dry eye syndrome” due to reduced blinking and increased moisture evaporation. Dry eye syndrome can lead to corneal wounds and inflammation as well as a feeling of discomfort.

In order to tackle the problem, the researchers developed a new mechanism that keeps the lens moist. The system uses electroosmotic flow (EOF), which causes liquid to flow when a voltage is applied across a charged surface. In this case, a current applied to a hydrogel causes fluid to flow upwards from the patient’s temporary tear reservoir behind the lower eyelid to the surface of the eye.

“This is the first demonstration that EOF in a soft contact lens can keep the lens moist,” says Nishizawa.

The researchers also explored the possibility of using a wireless power supply for the contact lenses. They tested two types of battery, a magnesium-oxygen battery and an enzymatic fructose-oxygen fuel cell, both of which are known to be safe and non-toxic for living cells. They showed that the system can be successfully powered by these biobatteries, which can be mounted directly on the charged contact lens.

Further research is needed to develop improved self-moisturizing contact lenses that are tougher and capable of operating at smaller currents.

“In the future, there is scope to expand this technology for other applications, such as drug delivery,” says Nishizawa.

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Idaho Considers Allowing ODs to Perform Laser Eye Surgery

But the bill has drawn opposition from some ophthalmologists.

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Proposed legislation in Idaho would give optometrists the right to perform laser eye surgery.

In order to perform laser procedures, optometrists would have to pass an examination by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, East Idaho News reports. They they would be required to do at least five of the procedures under supervision of an ophthalmologist.

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The proposal is a House bill supported by The Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensing. It’s currently being discussed in the House Health & Welfare Committee.

“We want to make sure that our laws and rules are as up to date as possible,” said Julie Eavenson of the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensing, according to East Idaho News.

“And the reason that we’re looking at them is because the governor has said — and the Legislature — ‘You need to have minimum qualifications. You need to protect the public, but you need to remove barriers.'”

The bill has drawn opposition from some ophthalmologists.

The legislation “poses an incredible risk to Idahoans and ignores the importance of medical education and training to perform surgery,” Dr. James Earl of Retina Specialists of Idaho said in a press release issued by from Eye M.D.s of Idaho.

The issue has been hotly debated in other states.

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In March, the governor of Arkansas signed into law a measure allowing optometrists to perform certain surgical procedures. The operations included selective laser trabeculoplasty and Nd:YAG laser procedures, along with injections (excluding intravenous and intraocular), removal of lid lesions and chalazion incision and curettage.

At the time, the American Optometric Association stated that Arkansas was the fourth state to permit laser procedures and that Alaska was developing regulations for their use.

Read more at the East Idaho News

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