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.

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.

Online Appointment Booking Also Creates Learning Opportunities for Patients

By Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:51 AM Dr. Shazeen Ali, Ranch Road Vision Source, has served as a dedicated provider of quality vision services and products to Austin, Steiner Ranch, Anderson Hill, and the surrounding Texas areas since 2015. She is a therapeutic optometrist specializing in primary eyecare and certified as an optometric glaucoma specialist. She has adopted several digital technologies in both her exam room and in the dispensary as well as helping connect with patients online before and after they visit the practice.

VM Conversation: Essilor’s Pete Lothes Talks With Andrew Karp About Labs and Servicing Independent ECPs

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Essilor, the world’s biggest lens company, is also the biggest optical laboratory operator in the U.S. Since acquiring its first U.S. labs in 1996, Essilor has built a network consisting of over 90 locations that are part of its ELOA group or are independently-owned partner labs. Pete Lothes is in charge of the company’s lab operations. Lothes has spent his career in and around labs, first helping manage the family business in Columbus, Ohio and later heading Essilor’s Satisloh business unit, which is a leading manufacturer of lens processing equipment.

Third VM ‘Micro Chat’ Explores Access to Care and Social Determinants of Health

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:27 AM NEW YORK—With millions of Americans facing job losses and other economic hardships resulting from the pandemic, providing access to healthcare for those in need has taken on new urgency. The crisis is prompting healthcare policy makers and researchers to sharpen their focus on the underlying causes that prevent many people from getting the healthcare services they need. In a new video, “Access to Care: The Social Determinants of Health,” VM editorial director Marge Axelrad and lens and technology editor Andrew Karp discuss this timely topic and how it impacts vision care. The video, the third in a series of “Micro Chats on Macro Topics,” can be viewed here.

Third VM ‘Micro Chat’ Explores Access to Care and Social Determinants of Health

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 9, 2021 12:30 AM VM releases third Summit Micro Chat, J&J Vision launches global myopia collaboration, national sales decline, Jobson tracker says, Eyemart Express expands to Tennessee, and Jobson issues Wave 21 of ECP Survey all topped this week’s VMAIL news feed. Click on the headlines below to catch up on anything you might have missed.

Using Eye Tracking Technology to Understand Human Behavior, Ocular and Neurological Health

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 2, 2021 8:30 AM As a journalist who covers vision technology, I’ve become fascinated with eye tracking and its many uses, which range from health care to virtual and augmented reality, sports training, gaming, retail, marketing, education and military applications. Eye tracking uses motion-detecting sensors embedded in special eyeglasses or behind a computer screen to detect and measure eye movement. As many VMAIL readers know, it’s used for diagnosing and treating vision problems related to the eye-brain connection. “We use eye tracking on virtually every single one of our patients who are coming in with a visual processing issue,” said Charles Shidlofsky, OD, FCOVD, a vision development and vision rehabilitation specialist whose practice, Neuro-Vision Associates of North Texas, is in Plano, Texas.