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The Growing Ortho-K and Scleral Contact Lens Market and Smart Ways to Sell Them

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Gas permeable (GP) contacts are rigid lenses that comprise about 10 percent of the contact lens market. While the market for corneal lenses is declining, the demand for scleral and ortho-k lenses is rising. According to ABB Optical Group, there was a 31.2 percent increase in dollar sales of scleral lenses and a 29.7 percent increase in dollar sales of ortho-k lenses from 2016 to 2017.

The large scleral lens stays put for irregular corneas (keratoconus). Ortho-k lenses temporarily reshape the cornea (usually overnight) to correct myopia and are popular for kids. Luckily, a patient is more likely to get a GP lens fitted by a prescribing doctor than take that Rx elsewhere.


Art Optical

Scleral: Ampleye (4-curve design), SoClear (a corneal scleral design) and Rose K2 XL (a corneal scleral design). Ortho-K: Distribute Paragon CRT lenses and manufacture custom ortho-K lenses per practitioner specification, as well as DreamLens.

(800) 253-9364 artoptical.com


X-Cel Specialty Contacts (A Walman Company)

Atlantis Scleral (including a multifocal design) Ortho-k: An authorized lab for both Paragon CRT and Euclid’s Emerald lenses. They also manufacture several ortho-k lenses designed by ECPs.

(800) 241-9312 xcelspecialtycontacts.com

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Valley Contax

Custom Stable Prime, Custom Stable Elite, Custom Stable Aurora scleral lenses.

(800) 547-8815 valleycontax.com


Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products

Zenlens Ortho K: sells Boston materials in many designs and has FDA approval for Vision Shaping Treatment.

(800) 323-0000 bausch.com


ABB Optical Group

Dyna Semi-Scleral, Dyna Scleral, Infinity Scleral 14.5 to 18.2, Menicon Rose K2 XL Scleral, Paragon ICD 14.5 mini lenses, Paragon ICD 16.5 lenses, Paragon ICD Toric Scleral, Paragon ICD Flex Scleral. Ortho-K: Euclid Emerald, Paragon CRT, Paragon CRT Dual Axis Paragon CRT Diagnostic Dispensing System.

(800) 772-3911 abboptical.com

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Paragon Vision Sciences (A CooperVision Company)

Paragon CRT (orthokeratology) and ICD FlexFit (scleral).

(800) 528-8279 paragonvision.com


SynergEyes

SynergEyes VS Scleral Lens

(877) 733-2012 synergeyes.com


Smart Ways to Sell Scleral and Ortho-k Contact Lenses to Your Patients

Andrew Biondo Kirkwood Eye, St. Louis, Missouri

Scleral lenses have advantages over other modalities and check all the boxes when it comes to vision, comfort and ocular health. Sclerals are great for treating dry eye symptoms by providing better hydration than other contacts. They are becoming more cost equivalent to daily disposables too. Once I fit patients with sclerals, we typically encourage them to do yearly replacements. I use ortho-k lenses predominantly on children because they assist with vision correction and myopia control. Ortho-k lenses can help stabilize a child’s vision and prevent it from getting worse during their growing years. My youngest patient is a six-year-old right up to an 18-year-old who may be a candidate for LASIK surgery. I use a myopia calculator from Brien Holden Vision Institute to determine how a child’s myopia will progress without correction. I show it to their parents to encourage them to buy ortho-k lenses. My advice to anyone selling these types of lenses is to provide proper education. We offer brochures and printouts to increase capture rates on scleral lens fittings. Our patients then do further research online and get excited by reading testimonials. I’ve tried about 12 designs but my go-to lens is the Atlantis Scleral from X-Cel 90 percent of the time. For ortho-k, I use X-Cel’s Emerald Lens by Euclid. I find them to be the most efficient in terms of fitting.

 

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Jeffrey Sonsino The Contact Lens Center at Optique, Nashville, TN

I allow my patients to choose their strategies after an extensive conversation and education of the risks, benefits and features.  I spend around 20 minutes with new consults talking about their options. I am a problem solver. I present many options to patients including corneal GPs, hybrid lenses, and scleral lenses. If the patient chooses sclerals, then I apply my expertise to maximize their outcome.

 

Carol Gilhawley is a contributing writer for INVISION.

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Better Vision

EHR Systems Have More Enhancements Than Ever Before

Bells and whistles your paper charts definitely don’t possess.

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ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS have come a long way. First Insight’s EyeClinic Imaging consolidates patient data, images, and diagnostics into one cloud-based system. Similarly, FoxFire’s Image Management module collects diagnostic images directly into the EHR. Compulink’s Artificial Intelligence runs Advantage EHR which includes built-in chief complaints and ICD-10 coded diagnoses. ABB Optical integrated RevolutionEHR’s SmartFlow ordering technology. EHRs can also improve accounts receivable and help you run a more efficient practice.

Foxfire Systems Group

Foxfire EHR with Image Management

(800) 333-4176, foxfiresg.com

Compulink

Eyecare Advantage EHR

(800) 456- 4522, compulinkadvantage.com

DrChrono

iPad and iPhone EHR

(844) 569-8628, drchrono.com

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ABB Optical Group

Glimpse Mobile tracks business analytics.

(904) 503-9616 glimpselive.com

RevolutionEHR

RevolutionEHR with SmartFlow ordering technology

(877) 738-3471, revolutionehr.com

Weave

Weave Optometry for patient communications

(888) 579-5668, getweave.com

First Insight

MaximEyes EHR with Eye Clinic Imaging

(800) 920-1940, first-insight.com

Smart Ways To Use EHR Enhancements

Dr. Brian O’Donnell, New Era Eye Care, Shavertown, PA

I’m on my fourth EHR system since I changed my practice in 2012 to make it more efficient. Part of that process was to invest in a new EHR. After visiting VEE and interviewing vendors I went with Foxfire. They provided a feature I wanted — to be able to see recalls and identify certain patients for promotions. They also had a tremendous integration platform for image management and data analytics. I liked that they did billing in-house too. They have their own clearing house within the system that is outstanding. Both the practice management side and the medical side of the EHR system got upgrades recently and they went flawlessly. Since I started with Foxfire in 2014, the system has been overhauled many times. Each time they carry out training so we’re well prepared.

Dr. Brandon Chester, Chester Eye Center, Chillicothe, OH

We studied up before we transitioned to First Insight’s MaximEyes EHR in 2011. It puts everything at our disposal and lets us quickly look up patients and run different reports based on diagnoses. We were one of the first to adopt their cloud-based EyeClinic Imaging software when it came out in 2017. You can click a button to launch it from within the EHR system and view all images from a test result. Now we don’t have to scan as much data as we used to. Once we’re done with a test the image is saved to a patient’s file and we can pull it up on screen in the exam room and show our patients comparison pictures. First Insight does a good job staying on top of different Medicare requirements and the MIPS program is built into their EHR system.

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Better Vision

Teleoptometry Tools Redefining the Meaning of ‘Phoning it In’

With about 200 different telehealth models being run today, ECPs have to decide which tools, if any, add value to their services.

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OCULAR TELEHEALTH, WHICH delivers eyecare remotely through medical equipment and telecommunications technology, is a hot-button issue right now. The question of whether it can offer a viable alternative to an in-person comprehensive exam is being intensely debated. What’s driving its progress are rising health care expenses as compared to the lower costs and added convenience it offers to patients.

There are about 200 different telehealth models being run these days in the U.S. and abroad, says Vitor Pamplona, founder of EyeNetra, which enables its customers to build their own telehealth models. And they are all different and generally protective of their own way of doing business. “The beauty of the state of vision care today is that anyone can build their own fully functioning telehealth system, using state-of-the-art tools like EHR-enabled AI-based voice assistants, blockchain storage and crypto vision benefits all the way down to the most basic one-on-one patient coaching approaches,” Pamplona explains. “Software is cheap. Technology is cheap. The field is booming but in a very diverse and decentralized way.”

While some states, such as Indiana and Connecticut, prohibit ocular telehealth, the majority allow it. One of the fastest growing entrants is 20/20NOW, which has completed 78 installations of its Ocular Telehealth Solution and expects to complete 125 by year-end. “Optical retail has always embraced ocular telehealth,” says Chuck Scott, CEO of 20/20NOW. “We are now seeing a trend within private optometry to utilize ocular telehealth within their practice, primarily for practice expansion, revenue improvement and better work/life balance.”

Given an abundance of options, the challenge now facing ECPs is to decide which tools, if any, add value to their services.

Smart Vision Labs

SV One, a handheld, smartphone-based autorefractor.

(212) 796-6124, smartvisionlabs.com

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Digital Optometrics

DigitalOptometrics’ Teleoptometry

Eye Exam (877) 506-0002, digitaloptometrics.com

D-EYE

D-EYE’s Smartphone-based Retinal Imaging System

(401) 473-6323, d-eyecare.com

20/20NOW

Ocular Telehealth Solution

(844) 843-2020, for2020now.com

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RightEye

Tests called Functional Vision EyeQ, Brain Health EyeQ, Reading EyeQ and Sports Vision EyeQ.

(301) 979-7970, righteye.com

EyeNetra

Digital Lensometer

(617) 684-5680, eyenetra.com

Smart Ways To Use Teleoptometry Tools

Joseph Ianni, Swift Eyewear, Massena, NY

The option to find doctors locally was limited so we purchased hardware from DigitalOptometrics to provide eye exams. We book a 30-minute complete eye exam and the system can accommodate walk-ins too. It has proved to be an amazing solution and we’ve carried out hundreds of exams since we went live in January. Our technician carries out pre-tests and then we videoconference in a doctor who looks at the results and can control the phoropter remotely and then sends us a prescription electronically. Our patients love the seamless experience and they’re happy they don’t have to travel to see a doctor.

Brian Chou, OD, Revision Optometry San Diego, CA

These are interesting times as technology impacts the evolution of optometry. Many new forms of teleoptometry are startups and like all startups some will succeed and some will fail and some could even get their technology acquired. The alternative distributors of online glasses and contact lenses are focused on giving prescription renewals online. More ambitious technologies offer digital retinal imaging using AI to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. We used to think autorefractors were a threat and now we see optometrists embracing them in their practices to improve efficiency. 20/20NOW is an enterprising outfit that helps clinics and opticals by giving non-dilated eye exams to patients so they can get a prescription when the doctor is not present. Stanton Optical allows patients in all its offices to videoconference with a remote doctor. So, looking to the future, I do believe there’s an opportunity for ODs to use online screenings to drive patients to use their services.

Ericson Quintanilla, Greenleaf Optical Compton, CA

We use the SV One from Smart Vision Labs to get a prescription for patients who don’t have access to a doctor or the fee to see a doctor. For $40 we give them an eye exam and free readers. Letters from the device are transferred to my laptop, where I add comments and send an email to some doctors in New York. I normally get a prescription back from them within 10 minutes. The patient then buys their glasses and single vision lenses from us. I also work with an online insurance company, Patch, that allows me to use their vision benefits.

 

 

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Better Vision

Golf Lenses Guaranteed to Be a Hole in One

8 options that address the three factors patients want in their golf glasses.

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THREE FACTORS USUALLY come into play when patients are looking to buy golf glasses: “Their lenses to make a difference on the tee, to see their scorecard, and to track their ball down the fairway,” says Rob Curry at True Focus Eye Care in Port Richey, FL. As a result, lens makers provide ECPs with a number of options.

Liberty Sport

Switch H-wall Frames that come with interchangeable lenses in a two lens kit with a specific golf tint.

(800) 444-5010, libertysport.com

Oakley

The Oakley Prizm Dark Golf lens

(800) 403-7449, oakley.com

ImageWear

Callaway frame with fully Rx-able lens.

(800) 414-7656, walman.com

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Under Armour

The UA Tuned Golf lens features a proprietary tint formula for heightened contrast in bright conditions.

(516) 576-9100, eyeking.com

Scheyden Eyewear

Golf-specific CIA (Confidence in Action) sunglasses with fixed gear titanium frame and high definition dye-infused LT16 polyamide lens.

(800) 851-2758, scheyden.com

Maui Jim

Golf line with PolarizedPlus2 lenses, Guardrails polarized aviator sunglasses (shown).

(888) 666-5905, mauijim.com

Tifosi Optics

Swick sunglasses with Enliven Golf lens or an Rx option of golf/tennis tint.

(877) 530-0815, tifosioptics.com

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Shamir

Shamir Golf lens

(877) 514-8330, shamirlens.com

Smart Ways To Sell Golf Lenses

Tom Harrigan, J.C. Reiss Optician, Morristown, NJ

Our go-to golf lens is a Maui Jim sunglass lens. We’re a small independent optical that opened 127 years ago and I find Maui Jim helps level the playing field by doing everything for us. Being a golfer myself, I like certain lens colors for golf so I recommend a brown or a rose-colored lens which helps read the greens better than a flat, gray lens. Generally, sunglasses double as the patient’s golf lenses unless they want to buy a second pair, say, a dark gray lens for fishing. When patients come in we ask them about their hobbies. This opens the conversation to talking about golf and, since I know the game myself, I discuss my recommendations with them. In addition to selling Maui Jim for golf, we also sell some Liberty Sport Switch frames with golf-tinted lenses.

Rob Curry, True Focus Eye Care, Port Richey, FL

Our two doctors are golfers and have photos of themselves playing in their exam rooms, so golf often comes up in conversation with our patients. Most of our golfers want to be able to track the ball from the tee to where it lands on the green so they will buy a distance prescription and/or bifocal lens. We use the Tifosi frame and lens package more than any other. Its new Enliven Golf lens comes standard in the frame (in plano) and if the patient wants an RX they can get it in the GT tint (golf/tennis). We personally tested it on the course and the results were overwhelming. It’s a non-polarized, color enhancing, green lens that allows you to read the cut of the greens more clearly and vividly than any other golf lens.

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