Winner Announced of This Month’s “Ocular Photography Challenge”

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

please visit: www.PCONSuperSite.com. Submissions for the contest can be emailed to nhemphill@slackinc.com.


Eyecare Professionals Select Kowa Marketing Campaign Number 1 in Medical Device Category as conducted by Signet AdProbe Survey

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.


Implementing The Newest Technology Around Customer Experience

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.


Smartphone Eye Exams for Underdeveloped Countries

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 Supports the Ocular Imaging Challenge

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.

Challenge.gov

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


Kowa Optimed to Participate in 2012 Vision Source National Meeting

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 .


Kowa Optimed and Walman Optical to Participate in the 2012 Heart of America Event

Kowa Optimed and ophthalmic marketing partner, Walman Optical, are proud to announce our participation in the 2012 Heart of America’s 51st Annual Contact Lens  Primary Care Congress February 17-19th. The Heart of America Contact Lens Society (HOACLS) was founded nearly fifty years ago and has made tremendous strides in changes to the profession over the years with its mission to continue education in primary care optometry and the contact lens specialty. Each Congress meeting strives to provide a wide variety of workshops, symposia, and courses providing the opportunity for optometrists and paraoptometrics to learn new tricks of the trade.

Not only does HOACLS continue to offer camaraderie, education, and innovation to its member doctors, but they take pride in giving back to the community as well. Each year the event funds numerous scholarships, grants, and prizes which sets this meeting apart from the rest.

Both Kowa Optimed and Walman Optical are honored to be a part of such a prestigious event. Be sure to stop by our booths in the Exhibit Hall. Look for booth #519 for Kowa displays and find Walman Optical at nearby booths #518 and #520. Walman Instruments booths will be labeled as #512 and #514.

For more information about the event check out the HOACLS website  http://www.hoacls.org/Exhibitors.cfm

To learn more about ophthalmic instruments and Walman Instruments homepage refer here  www.walmaninstruments.com 

For more on Kowa Optimed browse through the homepage at     www.kowa-usa.com   and to sign up for an activeEHR webinar click on the EMRlogic Webinar homepage link here   www.emrlogic.com 


Employers Are Failing To Set Up Eye Care

Eye care is normally the last on the list of doctors appointments – if you can see right now, no need to go.  But this thinking can easily hurt you later in life when you realize that a cataract was easily preventable.  Eye care is extremely important, without your eyes how will you go about your daily tasks as you do now?  How will you work at the job you have now?  Eye care cannot be forgotten.

 In a recent study done in the UK it was shown that one-fifth of employers do not offer any eye care policy, and those that do rarely discuss the options and money saving benefits of it (according to Specsavers).   Bosses are required by law to meet the cost of eye care tests and corrective glasses for staff that use Visual Display Units. A Visual Display Unit is any monitor with a screen – most common is a computer.  Any staff that works at computer is thus required by law to have the cost covered for eye care tests.  These workers need to be made aware of their rights in order to benefit appropriately.

Some companies do reimburse their staff for eye care expenses, and some purchase eye care vouchers, but most employers and employees are not aware of the benefits that they can receive from getting eye care.

Using computer screens are highly taxing on the eyes.  People need to be informed to take regular breaks as to avoid blurred vision, headaches and fatigue.  It is highly recommended that when taking a break one looks away from their screen and into the distance in order to help adjust the eyes back to normal.

Our eyes are extremely important for taking in the world around us.  We need to stress eye care as an option for all employers and employees.  Find out what your options are from your office today.


Diabetes Awareness Month and Your Eye Health

This month is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes is a very serious disease affecting millions of Americans, and the rate of diabetes is steadily increasing.  Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there are abnormally high levels of sugar in the blood.  Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that controls blood sugar levels. Too little insulin in the blood, resistance to insulin, or both can cause diabetes.

When we eat food a sugar called glucose, a source of fuel for the body, enters our blood stream.  The role of insulin is to move glucose from our blood into our other organs, fat, and muscle to then be used as fuel.  When a person has diabetes their body cannot remove the glucose from the blood stream to the other areas in our body because not enough insulin is produced, or the cells do not respond to insulin normally.  There are three types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.  Type 1 can happen at any age, but it is mainly found in children and it caused by lack of insulin.  Type 2 diabetes is the most common.  Gestational diabetes happens to women during pregnancy, but this is not chronic.

One of the most common causes of eye problems in adults is diabetes.  It is a disease called diabetic retinopathy and it affects the retina.  The retina is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye and you need a healthy retina in order to see properly.  Diabetic retinopathy happens when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye.  Some other diabetic eye problems are cataracts and glaucoma.

Any one with diabetes should make sure to have a yearly eye check up – along with all those who think they may have perfect eyesight!


Being Outdoors Could Increase Eyesight

A new study has shown that letting your children play outdoors could greatly decrease the risk for myopia (nearsightedness).  A study with over 10,00 subjects, although was presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology  annual   past weekend.

The data shows that each hour spent outdoors during the week decreased the risk of myopia by 2%.  It also showed that children who were nearsighted stayed indoors nearly 4 hours more than those who were not.  An interesting study that has no conclusive answers looked at if those children who stayed in doors did more activities with near work such as reading or playing activities.

The rise in myopia may have some correlation to the rise of the use of the computer.  The computer is a close work activity that also involves being indoors.  No conclusive studies have been done, but a few are in the process.

There was no specific activity that reduced the risk of myopia, so far just generally being outdoors.   There are a variety of factors that are hard to manipulate while doing these studies but hopefully with future research we will be able to narrow down the results.  Hopefully we will be able to greatly reduce myopia across the board by finalizing a conclusion as to watch age, and what activity best reduces myopia.