Fostering doctor-patient relationship biggest challenge, industry experts say
NEW YORK – Strengthening relationships with patients and implementing the newest technologies are major challenges in today’s market, according to an industry panel here at the Vision Expo East Global Contact Lens Forum.
A huge opportunity exists for the contact lens industry to partner with eye care providers, Robert Warner, Alcon’s global franchise head of vision care, said.
“At the end of the day, the relationship between the optometrist and consumer will allow all of our technology to be introduced and properly fit,” he said.
Technology continues to accelerate in optics and materials, Jerry Warner, CooperVision North American president, said.
“The opportunity is to get the lenses onto patients and consumers and take advantage of what exists in the practices, utilizing tools that all the manufacturers can provide you,” he said. “Ask yourself why every vision-corrected patient shouldn’t walk out with a contact lens – a 10-pack, 30-pack or annual supply. Get them into the contact lens experience.”
“Seventy-five percent of people walk in and walk out with the same brand,” Mark McKenna, vice president and general manager of vision care for Bausch + Lomb, said. “This is not the standard of care that any one of us accepts, given the amount of innovation.”
Jim Kirchner, OD, president and CEO of SynergEyes, said the specialty and custom fit segment is growing.
“As an industry, it boils down to communication with the consumer, having them understand what’s available, what the benefits are to the wearer and what can happen in their lives as a contact lens wearer,” he said.
Ashley McEvoy, company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies and Vision Care Inc., said the industry will continue to add value to patient care.
“Help us get consumers to honor their eyes,” she said. “There’s a lot of insight-driven technology on the way, and, collectively, we have to build the category of the future. What we see today by no means will be the standard of care 10 years from now.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Morris S, et al. Global Contact Lens Forum: State of the Industry. Presented at: Vision Expo East. April 14-17; New York.
Disclosures: Kirchner is employed by SynergEyes. McEvoy is employed by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. McKenna is employed by Bausch + Lomb. Jerry Warner is employed by CooperVision. Robert Warner is employed by Alcon.