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 contributes daily briefings to VMAIL LaunchPad, that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He also helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

Novel Visual Prosthesis Brain Implant Moves to Clinical Trial

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 20, 2021 8:30 AM Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology are launching clinical trials of an artificial vision system that has the potential to restore partial vision to people who have lost their sight. The first-of-its-kind system, known as the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP), is an implant that connects directly to the brain’s visual cortex, bypassing the retina and optic nerves. The National Institutes of Health has awarded Illinois Tech researchers $2.5 million for the first year of a three-year project that includes implanting their new type of wireless visual prosthesis system in volunteers. 

PROBLEM SOLVED: POG’s Work Ticket Hack

By Andrew Karp
Monday, August 2, 2021 1:43 AM Precision Optical Group, Inc (POG Labs) in Creston, Iowa recently introduced a new and improved work ticket that consolidates needed manufacturing instructions to get orders through the lab fast and simplify the production process for laboratory technicians. As POG’s Alex Tamerius explained, “In the past, work tickets and order paperwork was routinely taken out of the job tray to follow processing instructions, which equated to unneeded loss in production time.”

Gene Therapy May Preserve Vision in Retinal Disease and Serious Retinal Injury

By Andrew Karp
Friday, July 23, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Mount Sinai researchers have uncovered a potential pathway for treatment that can prevent blindness. Gene therapy in mouse models showed promise in preventing vision loss or blindness from serious retinal injury including optic nerve damage, and from retinal disease including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, Mount Sinai researchers report. Their study, published in the July 22 online publication of Cell, could transform treatment for those at risk of major vision loss from retinal degenerative diseases, which currently have no cure.

Researchers Develop AI-Powered OCT Analysis Tools to Predict Demand for AMD Treatment

By Andrew Karp
Friday, June 25, 2021 8:30 AM Researchers in Switzerland have developed automated OCT analysis tools based on artificial intelligence, which can assist eye doctors in the assessment of a whole patient OCT-set in just a few seconds. Together with RetinAI, a startup specialized in AI-based eyecare technologies, they now have conducted a retrospective study of patients to assess how well AI can predict demand for anti-VEGF treatment for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) from the start. With the ageing population, cases of AMD, Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) are globally on the rise, making it hard for specialized eye clinics to keep up with the growing demand for regular treatments.

A Teachable Moment About Eyeglasses

By andrew karp
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 1:00 AM Sometimes we get so deeply involved in our own little universes that we forget that not everyone lives there, too. I’m reminded of this when I meet people for the first time and they ask me what type of work I do. When I tell them, “I edit magazines about eyeglasses and vision,” I sometimes get a quizzical look, followed by questions such as “Is there really a whole magazine just about eyeglasses? What’s there to write about?”

Searching for Fresh Answers to The Question: Why Are Glasses So Expensive?

By Andrew Karp
Friday, May 28, 2021 8:30 AM How often has this happened to you? You’re relaxing with friends or family, and someone shows up wearing a new pair of glasses. Naturally, you  say something like, “Those new glasses look great on you.” They reply, “Thanks. I paid a lot for them, so they better look good.” Then there’s a short pause, followed by what I call The Question: “Why are glasses so expensive?” I usually take a deep breath before responding. Then I give this little speech: “A nice looking, well-made pair of eyeglasses is one of the most important items you can own. It’s the result of a lot of research and development, manufacturing expertise and, often, craftsmanship.” I’ve been giving my speech for a long time and I wanted to freshen it up, so I asked some of my optical friends how they respond when asked The Question. Here’s what they told me.

Scientists Gain Insights in Causes of AMD by Studying Worm Physiology

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 30, 2021 8:30 AM Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have identified a new potential mechanism for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—the leading cause of blindness among older adults—by studying laboratory-grown roundworms as well as human and mouse eye tissue. The UMSOM researchers said that the findings suggest a new and distinct cause that is different from the previous model of a problematic immune system, showing that the structural organization of the eye’s light-detecting cells may be affected by the disease.

Modern Optics

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Monday, April 26, 2021 12:00 AM NEW YORK—The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled much change and many health care-related issues and business shifts. But shutdowns, stay-at-home, work-from-home, school-from home, virtual meetings and entertainment, along with cultural changes, have also expedited many new behaviors and attitudes toward technology among consumers of all ages. As a result, patients’ expectations of what constitutes a next-level type of experience with retailers and vision care providers (actually, all types of health care providers) has been one of the first and most visible impacts of the pandemic on business of all types.

ReVision Optometry Takes Toplogy’s TOP for a Test Run

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:59 AM ReVision Optometry, the San Diego, California practice of Dr. Brian Chou, is one of the first practices in the U.S. to use TOP (Touchless Optical Platform), a proprietary app developed by Topology that enables opticians to precisely measure patients, either in-store or at home, to ensure an exact fit of their eyeglasses. Optician Cindi Geib described some of system’s key features, and what she and her patients like about it.

ACEP’s Smart Mirror Helps Dispensers Sell Features and Benefits of Products

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:58 AM Bard Optical, an optical retail chain that operates 21 stores in central Illinois, has been using ACEP’s Smart Mirror system for several years. Company vice president, Mick Hall, first learned about ACEP’s Smart Mirror system during a visit with another retailer that belongs to the same information sharing group as Bard.

Shamir’s Spark Mi Up Allows for a Safer Patient Experience

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:57 AM Eye Eye Eye is owned and operated by Kamran Khan, a veteran optician with 30 years of experience. An optical boutique specializing in independent, upper end lines, Eye Eye Eye attracts patients who are looking for something a bit different. Most recently, that differentiator has been Spark Mi Up, a touchless measuring device that looks like an ordinary tabletop mirror, yet allows ECPs to take all required measurements with just a few clicks, while keeping patients at a safe distance.

New Hartford Eye Associates Sees the Value in Virtual Try-On Galleries

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:56 AM In Central New York State’s Oneida County, New Hartford Eye Associates, a Vision Source practice, has succeeded in cultivating a great reputation among the customers and patients in the markets it serves. For four years, the practice has won the Best Optometrists designation from local media, its doctors and staff creating a destination for patients in the upstate region. Denys Meade, New Hartford’s practice manager for 15 years, has started to embrace new types of technology.

Village Opticians, Early Adopter of OptikamPad, Continues to Rely on the Technology

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:55 AM Joel Wolf was an early adopter of Optikam, one of the pioneers of digital measurement. Now, after more than a decade, he continues to rely on the system, which has evolved into a complete dispensing solution that helps ECPs assist patients at all stages of the eyewear dispensing process.

Clear View Vision Care Leverages Zeiss’ Technology to Set Itself Apart from the Pack

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:54 AM Clear View Vision Care leverages the latest vision technology to differentiate itself from its competitors. Owner Dr. Jeffrey Martin and his staff employ a full range of Zeiss equipment to provide patients with a highly personalized experience. The latest addition to their armamentarium is the Zeiss Visufit 1000, a digital centration system that captures 3D measurements and offers virtual try-on of frames.

Hoya Spectangle’s Position of Wear Measurements Offer True Personalization

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:52 AM Dr. Thomas Gosling is a longtime Hoya customer who is a proponent of the company’s dispensing technology. He uses the HVC Viewer, an iPad app with interactive, augmented reality features, to show patients how they will see with different lenses before wearing them. Using Hoya Spectangle, Dr. Gosling or optician Marc Petersen take position of wear measurements that can be used to customize the patient’s prescription.