Two Blind Brothers Launch a Viral ‘Trust’ Campaign, Urge Visitors to ‘Shop Blind’

By Andrew Arata
Monday, December 17, 2018 12:30 AM The holiday season tends to get tangled with sales and gift-giving rather than giving thanks for what we have that others may not—such as our sight. Two Blind Brothers, a non-profit clothing site, founded by Bradford and Bryan Manning, donates 100 percent of their profits toward research to cure eye disease. The two are generating sales and widening an awareness and fan base recognition this season with their unique and creative take on sharing messages that underscore the experience of visual impairment and blindness while raising money to help 11 million people with vision loss.

When Vision Care Disrupted Hollywood

By Ted Gioia
Monday, December 17, 2018 12:30 AM Hollywood needed something exciting in the 1950s to compete with the newfangled home entertainment gadgets, from television to hi-fi record players, keeping people out of movie theaters. In an unprecedented move, studios turned to a vision care company for help—specifically to American Optical (now part of Carl Zeiss Vision). The result of this unusual partnership would change the course of cinema history.

OneSight Adds Three New Countries to Programming and Announces 2019 Clinic Locations

By Staff
Friday, December 14, 2018 12:21 AM CINCINNATI—OneSight has announced the locations of their 2019 clinics, as well as the addition of three new countries to their programming. In 2019, OneSight plans to expand their programming to Jordan, Mongolia and Nepal, where they will host charitable vision clinics in remote communities, helping bring eyecare to those who, otherwise, would have no way to get an eye exam or glasses. OneSight uses cutting-edge mobile vision care technologies to reach remote communities in need of eyecare, which they displayed on a recent expedition to the Amazon, according to a statement from the organization.

Blue Sky Vision Names Candi Hamilton as Executive Director

By Staff
Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:21 AM GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Blue Sky Vision has named Candi Hamilton as executive director for central and southern Michigan Blue Sky Vision practices.

American Academy of Ophthalmology Calls on States to Maintain High Safety Standards for Surgical Eyecare

By Staff
Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:18 AM WASHINGTON—The American Academy of Ophthalmology agrees with important patient safety guidelines recommended in a joint report issued by the three federal agencies that help guide the nation's health care system, according to an announcement from the organization. The report, authored by the three cabinet secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor, focuses on reforms that deliver systemwide cost savings, with significant attention paid to the delivery of care at the state level.

Williams Group Expands its Complete Practice Management Solution for ODs

By Staff
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 12:24 AM LINCOLN, Neb.— Williams Group, a business consulting and practice management firm, has expanded its services to include a new “Total Freedom” program offering a complete practice management solution for optometrists, according to an announcement. Total Freedom is an “optometrist-requested, comprehensive service that allows optometrists to continue to own their practices and see patients while leaving the day-to-day management to Williams Group experts,” the announcement noted. “Many of our colleagues have expressed concern regarding the value of their practices over the course of their careers, as well as the emotional and financial investment they have made,” Williams Group chief executive officer Gilan Cockrell said in the announcement.

Moorfields Eye Hospital Secures Multimillion Pound Investment for New Project

By Staff
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 12:18 AM LONDON—Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has successfully bid for government funding to support Oriel, a proposal to design, build and operate a new, integrated eyecare research and education facility, according to an announcement by the hospital late last week. Moorfields has managed to secure nearly £20 million of funding as part of the Department of Health & Social Care’s major investment in the long-term future of the NHS, the announcement noted. Oriel will relocate all services from Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology on Bath Street to the new facility at its preferred site at St. Pancras Hospital, the announcement noted.

Opternative Changes Name to ‘Visibly’ to Better Reflect a Move Toward Partnerships

By Staff
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:45 AM CHICAGO—Opternative, seeking to rebrand and reposition itself as a technology company with an eye on partnerships, announced this morning that it has changed its company name to “Visibly.” The new name “fully embraces the solutions [the company] offers the eyecare industry and appropriately represents the broad scope of who we can serve,” the company said in its announcement. Brent Rasmussen, chief executive officer at Visibly, told VMAIL in a telephone interview that the company’s former name, Opternative, carried “a negative connotation...not only in the industry, but, obviously, with optometrists.”

Essilor Partners With Bhutan Government to Eradicate Poor Vision

By Staff
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:15 AM CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—Essilor commits to further expanding its unique inclusive business and philanthropic programs to eradicate unprotected and uncorrected poor vision in the Kingdom of Bhutan, where 25 percent of the population suffer from uncorrected refractive errors and much of the population is at risk of exposure to UVA/UVB rays due to high altitude. Last week, the Essilor Group signed letters of intent with the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Central Monastic Body to sustainably strengthen the country’s vision care infrastructure.

American Vision Announces ‘Strategic Partnership’ With McDougal Eye Center

By Staff
Monday, December 10, 2018 12:24 AM TEMPE, Ariz.—American Vision Partners, a private-equity backed practice management organization, and Southwestern Eye Center, an affiliate of American Vision Partners, said late last week they have established a “strategic partnership” with Mesa, Ariz.-based McDougal Eye Center. “The affiliation of the two businesses will improve the quality of care for patients in the Mesa area by bringing more comprehensive vision care services to the community,” American Vision said in its announcement. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Carl Zeiss Meditec Posts Year-End Revenue Gains

By Staff
Monday, December 10, 2018 12:18 AM JENA, Germany—Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (ISIN: DE 0005313704) reported an increase in revenue for all strategic business units and regions after 12 months of fiscal year 2017/18. Revenue increased by 7.6 percent, or 11.1 percent when adjusted for currency effects, to €1,280.9 million, up from €1,189.9 million in the prior year. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to €197.1 million, versus €180.8 million year ago. The EBIT margin remained stable at 15.4 percent compared with prior year.

FTC Settlement Shuts Down Online Seller of Decorative Contact Lenses

By Staff
Monday, December 10, 2018 12:15 AM WASHINGTON—A California-based online seller of non-corrective, decorative contact lenses will pay a $60,000 penalty and be banned from all contact lens sales, according to an order issued last week by the Federal Trade Commission that settles FTC allegations that the online retailer has violated the Contact Lens Rule since at least 2014. (Overall, a U.S. District court imposed a $575,000 judgment, but much of it is being suspended.)

Prevent Blindness' Center for Vision and Population Health Targets National Eye Health Efforts

By Staff
Friday, December 7, 2018 12:30 AM CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness is launching the Center for Vision and Population Health (CVPH) at Prevent Blindness. The new Center will work in direct collaboration with experts from medical, scientific, public health, research and corporate sectors, leverage key stakeholder input, data from improved surveillance efforts (including state and national survey data), and peer-reviewed scientific literature to identify areas of geographic, population, and disease significance that provide opportunities for significant impact. The launch coincides with a paper issued by JAMA Ophthalmology yesterday, titled “Eye and Vision Health for Tomorrow: From Recommendations to Coordinated Action,” which provides strategies to coordinate national efforts to protect vision.

GrandVision Reports Highest Quarterly Comparable Growth in Three Years

By Staff
Friday, December 7, 2018 12:21 AM SCHIPHOL, The Netherlands—GrandVision NV reported recently that its third-quarter revenue rose 13.3 percent at constant exchange rates and comparable growth rose 5.1 percent in the period. Revenue totaled €948 million in the recent quarter, compared with €858 million in the year-ago period. The increases were “driven by a particularly strong performance in the G4 and Americas & Asia segments,” the company said in its announcement. (The G4 segment includes operations in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Ireland and the U.K.)

FDA Issues Approval for Bausch + Lomb's Multifocal Contact Lens for Astigmatism

By Staff
Friday, December 7, 2018 12:18 AM BRIDGEWATER, N.J.—Bausch + Lomb, a global eye health company, said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued 510(k) clearance for Bausch + Lomb Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism contact lenses. This is the first multifocal toric lens to be available as a standard offering in the eyecare professional's fit set, according to the announcement. The lens is the “most advanced soft contact lens design in the history of Bausch + Lomb,” according to the announcement, and the monthly silicone hydrogel lens “builds upon the success of Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia and Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Astigmatism lenses.” Bausch + Lomb is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC).