At Your Service

By Staff
Thursday, November 5, 2020 11:30 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. Read More

At Your Service

By Andrew Karp / Group Editor, Lenses & Technology and Jeff Hopkins / Contributing Editor
Monday, November 2, 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.

Soaring Screen Time

By Julie Bos
Monday, September 21, 2020 12:30 AM Long before COVID-19 turned our world upside-down, concerns over too much screen time and the rise of Digital Eye Strain (DES) were already escalating. But it’s safe to say the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating the situation for people everywhere, and especially for children who have multiplied their time on-screen—using digital devices for both virtual education and recreational down-time. While more time at home has been good for slowing the spread of COVID-19, it’s forcing many people’s eyes to suffer.

#Luminaries

By Staff
Monday, August 10, 2020 12:31 AM NEW YORK—We hear the term “above and beyond” being bandied about a lot these days, especially in light of the pandemic as it pertains to frontline health care “warriors” and essential workers who take care of the everyday tasks to keep the world humming. But there’s another definition of going above and beyond and it has to do with much more than showing up for work every day. It’s about giving 110% to the job, mentoring colleagues and those just starting out, and finding ways to be innovative and pivot at a moment’s notice, all in the name of eyecare and eyewear, and everything in between.

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.

Preparing for a Retail Reset

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:30 AM How does a leader prepare for a never-known-before challenge? Pause. Breathe. Rely on colleagues. Get the real facts. Make a plan. Be prepared to change it. Do the right thing for your team, your employees, your company, your patients. As we examine the 2019 year past, VM asked a few of our Top 2020 U.S. Optical Retailer executive leaders about the pandemic and what it could mean for the future. 
- The Editors

The Patient Journey: An Ongoing Evolution

By Mark Tosh
Monday, April 20, 2020 12:30 AM Technology innovations and an emphasis on experiential concepts new to health care are driving significant changes in eyecare today, and these changes are influencing the way some patients approach eye exams and eyewear needs. Indeed, the eyecare practices that recognize what this new Patient Journey looks like—and that work toward adapting it—are better positioned to grow their practices by helping patients better understand their vision and eyewear solutions, according to industry leaders.

Myopia Management

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 10, 2020 12:30 AM Myopia is not a new vision condition, but the growing awareness of the eye health risks associated with this common ophthalmic disorder, especially among eye-care professionals, is a somewhat contemporary phenomenon. Indeed, myopia is the most common ophthalmic condition in the world, with an estimated 34 percent of the world’s population, or roughly 2.62 billion people, affected by this condition, according to recent research.

VM’s Trends to Watch in 2020

By Staff
Monday, January 20, 2020 12:45 AM NEW YORK—Let the vision symbolism begin! The year 2020 holds promise and opportunity for those in the eyecare and optical world to share information and ideas to raise the profile of vision care. There is much of the upside to inform patients, caretakers, other health care providers and consumers about the role of comprehensive eye exams and the eye as the window to a range of concerning health care conditions.

Social Purpose

By Gwendolyn Plummer and Mark Tosh
Monday, December 16, 2019 12:30 AM It’s been 50 years since the renowned economist Milton Friedman published his signature 1970 essay, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase its Profits,” in The New York Times. The world has certainly changed over the past five decades, as has the view of the role business should play in a more socially conscious, consumer-empowered world. But one thing has remained fairly consistent: businesses are powerful. Indeed, perhaps more powerful than ever, according to a Kantar Consulting report, “Purpose 2020 – Inspiring Purpose-Led Growth.”

Specialized Optometry

By By Marge Axelrad, Andrew Karp, Mark Tosh and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, November 11, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—We are living in an age of specialization. Today we can get virtually anything we want from a business whose only business is delivering a certain type of product or service, whether it’s a vegan restaurant or Victoria’s Secret. Optometry, like many medical professions, is being reshaped by the specialization trend. Modern living has changed the way we use our eyes, and many optometrists, particularly those in private practice, have responded by developing specialties to address specific patient needs. Some specialties, such as pediatrics and low vision, have been long established in optometry, while others, like dry eye management and neuro-optometry are more recent additions. Yet all seem to be benefitting from the advent of new technologies and treatment methods which are bringing exciting changes to vision care.

Dashboard Data

By Mark Tosh
Monday, October 21, 2019 12:30 AM From health care to retail, data has become an invaluable resource for businesses and practitioners. It’s what many see as the key ingredient to better meeting, and exceeding, consumer or patient expectations, and it provides a critical yardstick for measuring success across a variety of metrics. In eyecare and optical retailing, the growing interest in data also has led to an increase in the number of options partner companies are developing that collect, track and analyze the data for ECPs to draw upon to manage their practice. From software and tech companies to alliances and large retail groups, a dashboard or other analytical tools have become part of the de facto offering to member ECPs.

Smart Money

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The optical lab business, at its most elemental, has always been a numbers game. Running a lab, though, is a complex undertaking that involves more than simply dollars and cents. It also about the number of prescription jobs per day it can produce, and the percentage of those jobs that are rejected because they don’t meet quality control standards. It’s about maintaining a job average that’s calculated based upon production yields and the average price per job. It’s about the cost of capital equipment, consumables, overhead, labor and dozens of other budget line items.

Seeking Solutions

By Mark Tosh
Monday, August 12, 2019 12:30 AM In the world of optical retailing and eyecare, the arrival of the year 2020 might be seen as the best of times for the profession. Demographics, especially an aging population, higher incidence of diseases that may impact eye health (such as diabetes), and new areas of practice focus—namely myopia and blue light protection—are opening up avenues of opportunity for eyecare professionals.

#ACHIEVERS

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—We hear the term “influencer” a lot these days. It’s frequently used to describe celebrities, media personalities or the latest YouTube stars whose words and actions are magnified through the lens of social media. They connect with millions of people, but their impact is often fleeting, as our attention shifts to the next big thing.