Contact Lens Spectrum Supplements

Special Edition 2017

Contact Lens Spectrum

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Page 64 of 75

c l s p e c t r u m . c o m C O N T A C T L E N S S P E C T R U M S P E C I A L E D I T I O N 2 0 1 7 63 INDUSTR Y FOCUS Dr. Nichols is an assistant vice president for industry research development and profes- sor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham as well as editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum and editor of the weekly email newsletter Contact Lenses Today. He has received research funding from Johnson & Johnson Vision, Alcon, and Bruder Health- care and honoraria from Shire. the skin to help repair and grow the skin in the area of the damage. We're also doing work in the field of diabetes in which we are integrat- ing our chemistries to help develop devices that ultimately will be used for glucose monitoring systems, for example. Tell us your vision for the con- tact lens field in the short term (<5 years) and in the long term (20 years from now). I believe that the specialty lens industry offers immense opportu- nity. The daily disposable segment will continue to grow, but I don't believe that this growth will be at the expense of the specialty lens segment. In the short term, innovation and R&D advances will continue to drive success. Scleral lenses will continue to play a significant role. I think that everyone in the industry needs to and will make presbyopia more of a priority. In the near fu- ture, I believe that we'll see devel- opments in frequent replacement lathed lenses. The possibilities are exciting and are generating a lot of optimism around the industry. We also feel that partnering with aca- demia will help us meet our need for the information that fuels the advancement of the industry. Over the long term, I think that the industry itself — the actual infrastructure of the industry — is going to be completely different from what it is today. I believe that new manufacturing technologies will be developed that will, ulti- mately, change the product offer- ings to consumers. I also believe that the incorpora- tion of integrated or flexible elec- tronic circuits in contact lenses is going to become a reality. It will take time; but this technology ul- timately will not only provide ex- cellent information for day-to-day wear, it will also collect and provide information and data to the health- care industry that will be used to either manage or diagnose a wide range of health conditions. Why did Contamac choose to support an entire 13th issue of Contact Lens Spectrum dedi- cated to specialty lenses? If you Google "contact lenses," you'll find a lot of information about frequent replacement and daily disposable contact lens prod- ucts. Almost everything you find will be about the large manufactur- ers because they've got the market- ing dollars to be able to really reach consumers. At the end of the day, in our small industry sector, I don't think that any of us has that ability to be able to reach consumers in the same way. However, what we do have is a tremendous amount of passion, a tremendous amount of industry ex- pertise, and phenomenal products about which practitioners need to be informed. So, our thought pro- cess behind proposing this special edition was essentially to help not just Contamac, but also our cus- tomers, contact lens practitioners, and the specialty contact lens in- dustry as a whole. We are looking to raise the profile of this sector. There's no question that the spe- cialty lens industry is frequently overlooked. Practitioners can set up a contact lens practice and do very well by selling glasses and mass-produced frequent replace- ment and daily disposable contact lenses. But what the specialty lens sector provides is a genuine busi- ness opportunity. Patients can go anywhere to buy their daily dispos- ables. They can go anywhere to buy their glasses and frames. But they can go only one place to get their specialty lenses. Practitioners need to be specially trained to be able to fit specialty lens products on what are effectively diseased or irregu- lar eyes in one way, shape, or form — or just corneas that don't fit the norm. We wanted to give practitio- ners the opportunity to understand that the specialty lens industry offers many opportunities for them to not just differentiate themselves, but to grow their business and to protect their business moving for- ward. Contamac believes in that, our laboratory partners believe in that, and we wanted to get that mes- sage out to practitioners. We all win on the back of this, and that's the whole point. We also believe that with Con- tamac's role in the contact lens supply chain, we're in a position to, in a way, represent the industry as a whole. What we want to achieve through this journal is to raise awareness of the category, and we are doing that through our partners in the industry. When you read through this issue, yes, you will see information about Contamac, but really what we want readers to expe- rience is the entire industry. We all have worked hard to en- sure that this issue covers every as- pect of specialty lens fitting, from incorporating it into practice to fitting and troubleshooting differ- ent designs to getting appropriately reimbursed. It is our hope that this issue will serve as a reference guide to which practitioners can continue to refer in their desire to become successful specialty lens fitters. If we can accomplish making this issue a go-to reference for a range of eyecare professionals, that would be an incredible achievement. CLS Mr. McGregor expresses his thanks to the industry and to Contamac's customers for their support.

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