Alcon Broadens U.S. Availability of its Digital Eye Health Platform MARLO That Helps ODs Stay Connected to Patients

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FORT WORTH, Texas—Alcon said Wednesday that is has broadened the U.S. availability of its innovative MARLO digital platform, a contact lens ordering service that provides the “experience patients expect from online retailers, offered within the independent OD practice,” the company's announcement noted. The MARLO platform allows patients to conveniently order, reorder and track their Alcon contact lens order online and have their lenses shipped right to their doorstep, while keeping the relationship and revenue with their existing eye doctor, according to Alcon.

Following a successful pilot in 2019, Alcon said it has now scaled MARLO’s availability across the U.S. so it can reach an even larger population of independent practices and also respond to the rising popularity of virtual health services during COVID-19. Alcon also noted that it has implemented remote MARLO set-ups to support ECP businesses during the pandemic.

“Alcon understands the eyecare landscape is becoming increasingly complex due to rapidly evolving patient and practice needs, especially during this challenging time,” Laura Walker, Alcon’s vice president and business unit head of digital innovation, said in the announcement. “MARLO is uniquely positioned in the marketplace, servicing the ECP, their team and their patient needs, and has been created as a result of feedback from each audience to help ensure we deliver an optimal experience.”

Alcon said that it is estimated that nearly 20 percent of patients go online to initially purchase their contact lenses and the trend of online sales is expected to continue to grow. MARLO is focused on delivering on patient expectations for convenience while ensuring the practice experience is simple and efficient for both patients and staff, according to the Alcon announcement.

With MARLO, 90 percent of patients who ordered through the platform said they are more likely to reorder their contact lenses from their ECP when using MARLO, and 65 percent of patients are likely to recommend their eye doctor because of MARLO, according to Alcon.

“My practice has been using MARLO since the initial pilot and it provides convenience and satisfaction to my contact lens patients, efficiency for my office and revenue for my business,” Jessica Crooker, OD, of Scituate Harbor Vision Source in Massachusetts, said in the announcement. “With MARLO, my practice can receive orders after business hours, on weekends and even when we were closed during COVID-19. MARLO also helps my team reduce time spent on fulfilling orders and instead increases our opportunities to deliver an optimal patient experience.”

According to Alcon, the process for using MARLO is simple and convenient, including only a few steps for the patient, ECP and their practice:

• ECPs simply introduce MARLO to their patients either during their annual eye exam or through a unique practice link sent to their patients through email or text, allowing patients to order directly from and stay connected with their ECP throughout their eyecare journey.

• Once entered into the MARLO system, patients will receive reorder reminders so they can continue to purchase contact lenses without returning to the office. Patients will also receive exam reminders.

• In addition to online and text ordering, the platform also enables practices to capture and fulfill patient contact lens orders over the phone and ship the contact lenses directly to the patient, making it convenient and easy for the patient.

Alcon also has introduced MeetMARLO.com as a new way for ECPs to learn more about the first-of-its-kind MARLO digital platform and request a virtual demonstration from an Alcon representative.

MARLO is available in the U.S. and joins Alcon’s family of innovative products and services focused on best meeting the needs of ECPs and patients.