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

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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 


New and Improved Kowa Optimed Website

With New Years freshly behind us, many resolutions included reinventing oneself whether that be their character within or  sticking to hitting the gym a couple times a week in order to shed those holiday pounds. A common theme always includes changing physical appearances or removing complications from life in general. In 2012, Kowa Optimed has also made some changes to their website appearance with the addition of a few helpful tools creating a more user friendly site.

With the new layout and design, viewers will discover clearly labeled tabs which help navigation and allow for information to be accessed much quicker and easier. With everyone so on the go in today’s society this is sure to be much appreciated.

The new website also includes a contact page where buyers, clients, job seekers etc, can leave their information and comments. Need answers to your questions right away? Well with just a click of the mouse you can be directed to chat with a specialist online.

Want up to date info on events? Check out this new section which allows users to know in advance when and where Kowa Optimed will be in a city near them. Find out more about products and services when they come to your area.

Don’t want to leave home or are there no upcoming events near you? A cool new feature of the website includes the addition of online Webinars. Here viewers can sign up to view videos of product demonstrations from the comfort of their own living room.

Become an instant follower or fan of Kowa Optimed by utilizing social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook as they are also only a click away on the home page.

The new website will be up and running very shortly.  Customer service is always the top priority of the organization and with these new improvements all users are sure to gain the best experience possible. Check back with us soon to be a part of this new and improved online experience!


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.


December is National Safe Toys and Gift Month

December is national Safe Toys and Gift Month.  As it is the holidays and many gifts will be given it is important to understand the safety and hazards of certain gifts.  Many toys now come with recommended age usage, as well as warnings.  But, there are some toys that the safety and hazards are not clearly labeled.  For instance a BB Gun needs to be worn with safety goggles, but rarely is the BB Gun sold with safety goggles.  Here are a few ways to buy and use toys safely.

There are a few basics.  One should always read the recommended age group and assess from there.  These labels are put on toys specifically to help a consumer. Secondly it is important to show your child how to use the toy properly.  Although it may obvious to us, it is not so obvious to children!  The third and more obvious one is to keep an eye on your child while they are playing with their toys, especially new ones.

Before even beginning your holiday shopping it is important as a parent, or consumer, to educate one self.  Toys are imported from other countries often and they may have different standards of production.  Older toys were made with high levels of lead and hand-to-mouth contact exposed children to this lead.  Check for any toys that are being recalled.

Before you buy a toy there are a few other labels to look out for.  If the box says ASTM it means that the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.  Also look out for any choking hazards!  Make sure there are no sharp edges (depending on the age).

Before letting your child play with the toy inspect it.  Inspect it for edges, broken parts, and any safety hazards.  Explain or show your child how to use it.  This way they can learn!  Train sets and such may need some explaining.  Lego’s can be hard to put together!

Many times sharp edges or broken pieces end up getting in one’s eye because they are flung around.  It is important to always check your children’s toys after usage for any broken parts.

We love the holiday season, but we all want to avoid disasters.  Be smart about your shopping this holiday season and be aware of the safety of the toys you buy!


EHR Adoption and The Connection to Internet Access

Since EHR’s came out there has been a divide between the consumers and the health care providers.  There is a movement to bring health management tools to the consumer through such devices as apps for the iPhone and iPad, games to play on Wii, or kiosks at your local pharmacy.  The question is what happens to those of us who do not have a smart phone, computer or Internet access?  Meaningful Use incentives are mainly targeted at those who have government sponsored healthcare, but they are also the one’s who are the least likely to have access to such items as smartphone and reliable Internet.

It is only those patients who have reliable Internet and smart phones that will be able to see how well digital health care can work.  This is because they will be the ones receiving e-mails from their doctors, connecting with them via social media, and be able to receive updates regarding EHR’s.

The question is how can we solve this divide of Internet access?  How can we make sure that all those who want to take full advantage of the EHR system can?  The government recently unveiled a new initiative – the Connect to Compete initiative – in which broadband Internet will be offered at a cheaper price for low-income families.  This is a great step in the right direction to bringing healthcare to all of America.  We are in a digital age, and so everyone should have access to the digital world.  EHR’s are an amazing system that we hope everyone can use to it’s full potential.