Andrew Karp

Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology

Andrew has reported on many facets of the optical industry for Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine since 1987. He specializes in covering the latest developments in ophthalmic dispensing, spectacle lenses and treatments, lens processing technology, optical laboratories and wearable technology. Andrew edits VMail Technology, a weekly e-newsletter that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

Optical Labs, ECPs and the True Meaning of Partnership

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 12:00 AM Partnership is one of the most overused words in business communications these days. It seems like nearly every new vendor-customer relationship, distribution deal or joint sales promotion is touted as a “partnership.”

At Your Service

By Andrew Karp / Group Editor, Lenses & Technology and Jeff Hopkins / Contributing Editor
Monday, October 26, 2020 12:30 AM In the first days of the coronavirus pandemic, as states and municipalities began issuing shutdown orders, optical retailers and optometric practices across the country went into shock. With many offices closed and eyeglass shipments disrupted, the situation was chaotic. “When everyone literally had the rug pulled out from under them, no previous systems you had in place were going to be helpful when you’re winging it,” recalled optician Ruth Domber, who co-owns 10/10 Optics, a popular optical boutique and optometric practice in New York City. “I called up Scott Pearl [managing director] at ABB Optical Labs and he set up our accounts so we could get deliveries at home, because the Post Office was not delivering on a regular basis. We were able to get things overnight. He waived certain fees for us so we would not get penalized, because he saw that we were doing a certain amount of volume. The communication was almost daily, and any time there was the slightest problem, one phone call resolved everything. The service was extraordinary. It was the best customer service I’ve ever seen from a lab."

First-of-Its-Kind Artificial Vision System Moves to Clinical Trials

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 1:50 PM With millions of people worldwide who are blind or suffering from sight-robbing diseases, and millions more expected to lose their vision over the next few years, a growing number of private companies and research institutes are working to develop bionic eyes, artificial vision systems and advanced visual prostheses. One of the newest projects is being undertaken by Illinois Institute of Technology. Researchers there were recently awarded $2.5 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the first year of a three-year project which involves clinical trials of a first-of-its-kind wireless visual prosthesis system which aims to provide some limited vision to people with profound blindness. Read More

First-of-Its-Kind Artificial Vision System Moves to Clinical Trials

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:47 PM With millions of people worldwide who are blind or suffering from sight-robbing diseases, and millions more expected to lose their vision over the next few years, a growing number of private companies and research institutes are working to develop bionic eyes, artificial vision systems and advanced visual prostheses. One of the newest projects is being undertaken by Illinois Institute of Technology. Researchers there were recently awarded $2.5 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the first year of a three-year project which involves clinical trials of a first-of-its-kind wireless visual prosthesis system which aims to provide some limited vision to people with profound blindness.

Celebrating a Pioneering Black Physician and His Remarkable Journey

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 21, 2020 11:07 AM New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) held a socially distant dedication ceremony on August 13 for Dr. David Kearny McDonogh, a pioneering Black physician who fought racial injustice in the 19th century to become the country’s first Black ophthalmology and otolaryngology specialist. Dr. McDonogh practiced at NYEE for more than a decade.

As We Age, Seeing Red May Be a Good Thing

By Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:33 AM Researchers at University College London have given new meaning to the term “seeing red.” Rather than using it to describe someone who is angry, the UCL scientists have conducted a study that found that staring at a deep red light for three minutes a day can significantly improve declining eyesight. The study is the first of its kind performed with humans. Scientists believe the discovery, published in the Journals of Gerontology, could signal the dawn of new affordable home-based eye therapies, helping the millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.

Making the Leap into Telehealth

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:40 AM Many optometrists began using ocular telehealth this spring, when the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent shutdowns of optometric practices and optical retail stores cut them off from seeing patients in person. We spoke with several optometrists who are new to telehealth about what their experience has been like. They report that remote consultations via a mobile app have proved to be an effective means of providing at least a basic level of care.

ECP Groups Support Members’ Access to Telehealth Solutions

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:39 AM NEW YORK—With interest in telehealth on the rise across eyecare, several ECP alliances and buying groups have taken steps to help their independent OD members gain access to telehealth technologies and/or training resources. Among the groups providing such services to members are Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA), Professional Eye Care Associates of America (PECAA), ABB Optical Group and the California Optometric Association (COA), among others.

Retailers Find Telehealth Options Improve the Patient Experience

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:38 AM NEW YORK—With the spread of COVID-19, just about every aspect of life has been affected for U.S. consumers and patients, and health care ranks high among the part of life under transformation. One significant change is that today both patients and providers are asking themselves what “services” need to be in the office and what services can absolutely be done outside the office via video conference or other means of interacting with the patient.

Adjusting to the New Normal: How Ocular Telehealth Can Help

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:36 AM As eyecare practices and optical retail stores across the country cautiously reopen and in-person appointments slowly resume, ECPs and their staffs are adjusting to new routines. Among the challenges they face are implementing procedures for social distancing, maintaining sanitary conditions and creating a more efficient workflow that accommodates the changing needs of both doctors and patients. We spoke with executives at some of the leading telehealth companies to find out how their systems and products can help practitioners and patients navigate the new normal.

Payers See Longer-Term Role for Telehealth in Eyecare

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:35 AM NEW YORK—Managed vision care plans, across the board, are reporting greater interest and demand for telehealth options from both patients and providers. As ODs began using ocular telehealth more frequently in March as COVID-19 spread, there were also mounting questions and concerns among ECPs about how these new telehealth technologies would fit in with the policies of managed vision plans.

Direct-To-Consumers: DIY Eye Tests

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:33 AM The boom in online retail sales and other direct to consumer services that began in mid-March has been one of many business success stories to result from COVID-19, and online vision testing is no exception. D2C vision care companies, including those offering online vision testing and personal vision tracking devices report that they have been doing brisk business lately, although actual sales figures can’t be confirmed. But even before COVID-19, D2C vision care companies say business was thriving.

Envisioning the Future of Ocular Telehealth

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:32 AM Now that ocular telehealth’s long-term viability has been established, the question becomes: how can it continue to elevate the patient experience? The wide range of responses from optometrists and ocular telehealth executives points to a future in which virtual vision will integrate with conventional eyecare to satisfy patient needs and create new opportunities for practice and business growth.

Virtual Vision Care Grows Up

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Ocular telehealth is trending hot these days, kicked into high gear by the coronavirus pandemic. More eye doctors and optical retailers than ever report they are now using telehealth to deliver virtual vision care, including many first-time users seeking to connect with patients who had been in lockdown.

Looking Through Some Very Special Vintage Opera Glasses

By Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology
Thursday, June 18, 2020 7:26 AM The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center is one of the jewels in New York’s cultural crown. You’d think that, as a native New Yorker, I would have availed myself of this treasure by now. But I’ve never set foot in the place. I suppose that’s because my taste in music runs toward jazz, blues and country. Yet friends tell me that the sheer spectacle of grand opera is worth the price of admission, even if the singing, however brilliant, is not my thing. So the Met is on my bucket list. When I finally get there, I’ll be prepared to take it all in. I’ve got a pair of opera glasses, a very good pair, in fact.