Andrew W. Nahas, OD of Boscobel, Wisconsin, was announced as this month’s “Ocular Photography Challenge” winner for his photographs of an 11-year-old boy with Marfan syndrome. As the winner, Kowa Optimedwill award Dr. Nahas with Kowa’s new state of the art YF Binoculars for his excellent work.
As shown in the photographs, Nahas said the patient’s manifest refraction time in the right eye was -10.50 D -0.25 D x 180 with visual acuity of 20/40-2. In the left eye, the patient’s manifest refraction time was -8.50 D -2.00 D x 170 with a visual acuity of 20/25 +1.For more information regarding Kowa Optimed products, please visit: www.kowa-usa.com
For more information regarding the Ocular Photography Challenge by Primary Care Optometry News
Eyecare Professionals Select Kowa Marketing Campaign Number 1 in Medical Device Category as conducted by Signet AdProbe SurveyPosted: June 28, 2012
In a recent survey done by Signet Research Inc. for Optometric Management, Kowa Optimed was honored by being recognized as having the best advertisement in their category and third place overall. The advertisement for the WX3D retinal camera by Kowa Optimed was the ad critiqued by the survey.
The purpose of the Signet AdProbe study was to provide those who purchased ad space in Optometric Management with feedback regarding the noticeability and information content of their advertisement. The report was based on the responses of 243 subjects questioned during the study. In order to reduce bias and respondent fatigue, a split sample technique was used and the sequence in which respondents viewed the ads was rotated. The desired end result of this survey is to help advertisers to better communicate with their audience through more effective advertising.
Of survey responses, 33% ranked Kowa’s ad’s noticeability as “excellent” and 47% responded to Kowa’s noticeability as “good.” Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed rated the ad’s information content as “excellent” and 56% rated the information content as “good.” The advertisement for Kowa’s WX3D was categorized overall as “excellent” by 33% of survey responders and “good” by 47%. Survey responders remarked about the advertisement with comments such as, “informative and pleasing to the eye” and “strong images, easy to understand.” The ad was mostly highlighted for its clear imaging and easy to read information. Another large portion of comments served to attest to Kowa’s quality and ease of use by those who are already familiar with their products.
Information regarding Kowa Optimed eyecare division visit: www.kowa-usa.com/eyecare.
The number of ECPs implementing technologies in order to create greater customer satisfaction as well as increase ocular health wellness and knowledge has vastly grown in recent years. People are demanding technology in every aspect of their day, now including their optical needs. Everything from iPads with informational videos to diagnostic systems that illustrate retinal images to text-reminder appointment confirmations are being utilized by today’s leading practices.
In this day and age it is hard to differentiate yourself from other ECPs with all the technology that is so readily available. Basing your practice around patient experience allows a practice to offer the same eye care services in an innovative way. ECPs are constantly looking for ways to further impress and please customers resulting in patient satisfaction as well as referral business. Educating patients has been deemed one of the more challenging tasks within eye care. Having to explain and demonstrate retinal issues in layman’s terms can become a tedious task. The application of videos and digital imaging to illustrate retinal tissue is more informative but also enhances patient image of the practice.
ECPs are using more advanced diagnostic instruments to provide patients with personalized perspective of their needs. Instruments such as aberrometers, retinal scanners and corneal topographers can capture and display highly detailed images of a patient’s eye thus enabling doctor’s to more accurately diagnose and treat any ailments. These images can then be used during patient-doctor dialogue to further understand the condition at hand and any possible treatments. This new software is freeing up precious time doctors do not have in order to better care for patients.
Mobile care is the next frontier in eye care. The number of eye care practices installing mobile systems is continually increasing. Seemingly basic services such as scheduling appointments and text-reminders for patients, electronic newsletters, event announcements and question-and-answer forums for after business hours are creating a more patient friendly experience within optical care.
Doctors are not the only ones using technological advances in order to fulfill the consumer. Dispensing companies have also started to use advanced systems that take precise position-of-wear measurements and, when desired, additional biometric measurements guaranteeing optimal frame fit and maximal performance. These high tech systems were first embraced by independent eye care practices that were backed by major spectacle lens vendors however; optical retail chains have begun to introduce their own exclusive measurement systems. Most typically these systems analyze the relationship between a patient’s eyes, face and frame in order to create the optimal lens fit. Some software even includes a frame-and-lens system that minimizes lens stress thereby eliminating distortion.
Measuring someone for eyeglasses normally requires expensive, bulky equipment that isn’t easily transported. The researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a simple $1 piece of plastic that when attached to a smartphone, functions as a diagnostic instrument. In underdeveloped countries, eye care is very often a luxury for most citizens. That’s why Ramesh Raskar and Manuel Oliveira, two professors at the Media Lab along with post-doc Ankit Mohan created the Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment, or NETRA
NETRA is as simple as a patient peering into a small lens attached to a smartphone. This smartphone must have the corresponding application that is equipped with the testing feature. On screen, the patient sees parallel red and green lines. The patient is instructed to use arrow keys on the phone to adjust those lines until they overlap. This test is extremely quick and after just two minutes of testing, the application produces the proper eyeglass prescription based off the test results. The way the test works, someone with 20/20 eyesight would be able to correctly overlap the lines which would only appear blurry. However, to someone with less than perfect sight, the lines would appear separated, skewing their test results. The application then reads how far off the patient’s results are and fits them for the ideal lens strength.
With this system, a patient doesn’t need lenses to bring a blurry image into focus, contrary to typical diagnostic instruments and machines that optometrists more commonly use. Instead, the smartphone attachment uses a basic system of lenses and pinholes.
Kowa Optimed is encouraging submission for the upcoming Ocular Imaging Challenge hosted by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. According to the OIC homepage, this challenge calls innovators and software developers to “create an application that improves interoperability among office-based ophthalmic imaging devices, measurement devices, and EHRs.” The application process began May 14, 2012 and will close on November 9, 2012.
For this challenge, ONC has required necessary attributes for first place. The application should convert output from legacy ophthalmic imaging and measurement devices from proprietary formats to vendor-neutral standard formats. The application should also be able to archive data from multiple imaging and measurement devices. Images and data should be displayed for clinicians and permit basic functionalities such as optimizing viewing parameters. For example, settings such as brightness and contrast should be adjustable for viewing ease. Finally, the application should generate integration with existing EHRs (Existing Health Records). Where applicable, the application should additionally leverage and extend NwHIN (Nationwide Health Information Network) standards and services.
All applicants will be reviewed by the ONC review panel during the four day evaluation period (November 16, 2012-November 20, 2012). Selections will be based collectively on the previously mentioned criteria and other standards such as mobile usability, functionality, accuracy, security and general practicality. Categories for selection have been labeled as, breadth of input devices and formats, usability and interface for image viewing, integration with workflow and platform neutrality.
OIC is offering a total of $150,000 in prize money to its first, second and third place winners. First place will not only receive $100,000 but also win conference exhibition opportunity. Second and third place will receive $35,000 and $15,000 respectively.
Craig Ross, President of Kowa Optimed, voiced his positive opinion of Kowa’s involvement in the OIC stating, “It’s important to take a leadership position with ocular imaging technology. These contestants are creating the next platform for ocular technology and eye health.”
For more information regarding the Ocular Imaging Challenge visit: http://challenge.gov/ONC/363-ocular-imaging-challenge
This year has already been a busy one for Kowa Optimed who has participated in a number of events including Heart of America, Vision Expo East, and SECO International. Next on this month’s agenda is the 2012 Vision Source National Meeting to be held April 26th – 28th in the beautiful city of Orlando. Florida.
Vision Source was founded in 1991 with the belief that eye health care is best provided by an independent family eye doctor, free to make his or her own decisions about what is best for the continued good vision of the patient. As a member of Vision Source, a private practice optometrist has access to the shared knowledge and resources of a network with more than 2,000 offices.
Eye care is forever evolving and we are excited to be apart of yet another event allowing us the opportunity to share our knowledge as well as gain insight into what others are doing to help everyone posses the best vision possible.
For over 50 years Kowa has been a leader in providing the most advanced instrumentation to ophthalmic practices. Some of our products to be presented at the event include a line of the largest selection of precision instruments including digital fundus imaging, perimeters, tonometers, slit lamps, and binolcular loupes. The DigiVersal image management system and our comprehensive activeEHR practice management solutions is designed specifically for eye care professionals and supported by a network of dedicated service specialists.
For more information on Kowa Optimed products and services visit our booth, #34, in the Bonnet Creek Ballroom or visit our website at http://www.kowa-usa.com/Eyecare/index.html .
Today with all of our patients documents going digital, it would be easy if all of the information, including photos, could be digital. Kowa Medical has made its very own managing system for your patient’s diagnostic images, DigiVersal (which runs well with our patient management system activEHR). These images can come from a variety of technologies such as cameras, slit lamps, and OCT’s. DigiVersal allows for flawless flow of patient data and diagnostic images from a variety of technologies because we know that ease of data transfer is key for clinicians and patients.
DigiVersal independently gathers images from numerous diagnostic tools and brings them together into one inclusive folder. This allows for ease of access, as well as analysis. The database in which the information is collected is both organized and easily searchable. This database system can be accessed network wide, which allows for multiple clinics to work together.
We have a brochure and more information online. Please go to www.kowa-usa.com.
EHR stands for Electronic Health Records. It is a new evolving system that digitally in-puts patients information such as medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, personal stats like age and weight, and billing information as well as prescriptions in order to better health care practices. It makes it easier for doctors to share information within their own offices, as well as across health care systems.
Before EHR systems we all remember the paper charts and large files with all of our past visits. When changing doctors you would have to ask for all of that information to be transferred so your new doctor would know your medical past. Today, that is changing very rapidly. More and more doctors are adopting the EHR practice and they are getting a positive result from their patients.
Most of the time people will use EMR and EHR interchangeably but there is a difference. EMR is the legal patient record created in hospitals that gets combined into the EHR. There are many benefits to EHR such a cost reduction, improved quality in health care, and an increase in record keeping and mobility. The main disadvantages is the time it takes to switch the EHR. Doctors needs training, records need to be put in, and this creates a few extra costs. Overall it seems that most doctors are thinking the benefits will out way the costs in the end. Also, as a doctor it is very important to stay update on technology, so everyone may be having to make the switch soon.
I went for my yearly eye check-up today and I was so impressed. I did not know a lot about eye technology before I started to work with Kowa, but since then I have learned so much. I was excited for this doctor visit because I wanted to see which technology they were using and I wanted to ask about the EMR technology.
I had a nurse check out my eyes in the beginning just the usual hold the tool over your eye read the screen and so on. Then we did a peripheral vision test (mine is perfect). THEN she asked if she could take a picture of the back of my eyes. This was a first for me, I knew about the technology because I have been researching eye technology, but this was a new machine at this office. She told me there would be additional co-pay for these pictures, but I figured I would try the machine out. I held my face up and she made it look at this disk and then a large flash and I could see the picture on the screen next to me.
I was waiting to see how this would later be used, would the pictures be printed? Digitally shown to me? Can they be transferred around the office? I was soon to find out. The doctor came in to finish my eye check-up and give me my new prescription. He then did a glaucoma test, which was easy and not disturbing to the eyes. THEN he asked how I’d like my retinas tested – camera, or the old way? Normally they do this horrible exam where they dilate my pupils and I can’t see for a few hours. I realized that this would not be okay, since I had to work right after. So I said yes, please take a picture! After he turned on his computer and showed me pictures of both the back of my eyes and retina’s so I could understand what they were showing.
I was so impressed by all this new technology. The visit took 30 minutes and another 20 for me to choose my classes. This visit used to take 45 minutes to an hour and another 20 minutes for me to choose glasses. It has cut the visit time down making it easier and faster for the patient and doctor. My doctor’s office does not yet have any of the workflow technology but it’s planning on investing in some. The new eye technology is very helpful and has improved doctor visits vastly.
Change is not always the easiest thing to do deal with. It disrupts our comfort zone and forces us to be uncomfortable and unfamiliar – luckily this is not a bad thing. Many of our best doctors grew up in an age where files were not on the computer, and digital photos didn’t exist yet. Over the years the medical technology has become more and more advanced making care faster and easier.
Some doctors have been more willing than others to accept this new change into the digital age, while others have been more stubborn about sticking to their old ways. The problem is that those who don’t adapt have a higher chance of being left behind; in the medical field having the most innovative technology is great!
As a world we must understand that going from paper into this technology age is not just a new phase, it’s a new movement into the new world. Doctors are no longer just diagnosing but they have to analyze data and become a sophisticated software user.
We have to slow down and understand that this transition will not be over night. We must help our doctors with this transition by being patient as they learn. EMR’s are revolutionizing Optometry; lets see where it will take us.