U.S. Study Says Eye Care Professionals Would Switch 36% Of Their Presbyopic Patients Using Eyeglasses To A New Easy-To-Fit Contact Lens Design For Presbyopia
Alpharetta, GA – A new ophthalmic marketplace study confirms that a breakthrough approach to contact lenses for presbyopia under development by Visioneering Technologies Inc. (VTI) has the potential to shift many presbyopes out of spectacle lenses and into contact lenses due to its unique design, which should greatly simplify the patient fitting process for both practitioners and patients.
Joe DeLapp, president and CEO of VTI, noted that “the recent marketplace study confirms that VTI’s breakthrough multifocal contact lens design using a single ‘universal add’ can revolutionize the way practitioners meet the needs of their presbyopic patients, and dramatically expand the overall contact lens category by converting more presbyopes from eyeglasses into the easy-to-fit VTI contact lenses.”
In a marketplace study conducted by Jobson Optical Research in November, 2011, over 77% of 262 eye care professionals stated that they would increase the number of presbyopic patients fitted with contact lenses if offered a single “universal add” multifocal contact lens design, similar to one by VTI.
Based on a description of the VTI single “universal add” lens design, the practitioner respondents stated that they would switch 35.8% of the presbyopic patients currently being fitted with eyeglasses to such a design, explained Dr. Sally Dillehay, VTI’s Clinical and Regulatory vice president. She noted that over 82% of the respondents agreed that a “universal add” contact lens would reduce the number of fitting visits required; 93.4% of these practitioners thought fitting time would be reduced by 1 or 2 visits per patient.
The key to VTI’s unique technology, as described by Dr Dillehay, is the use of a single “universal add” to meet most near power needs, allowing the practitioner to fit the contact lens like a distance-only lens. “The VTI lens delivers up to 4 diopters of equivalent near power covering the near vision requirements of most presbyopic patients with add powers of +0.75D through +3.50D,” according to Dr. Dillehay. “Other lens designs require from two to eight add powers to try and meet patient needs, complicating the fit with additional chair time and visits.”
Noted Joe DeLapp, “VTI’s ‘one universal add’ approach should dramatically reduce the clinician’s chair time required to achieve an acceptable fit compared to current fitting times for multifocal contacts, one of the main hurdles that has kept sales of these lenses significantly below the potential.” He pointed out that “the reduction in add powers needed for office inventories to fit patients offers the potential to further increase practice efficiency.”
“This study is consistent with the huge unmet patient need in the contact lens category,” added DeLapp. “There is a significant group that drops out of the category every year due to dissatisfaction with current contact lenses for presbyopia. Further, many people with good vision would prefer not to wear eyeglasses when they become presbyopic because of their active lifestyles or because they associate multifocal spectacle lenses with aging.”
Clinical testing conducted by VTI suggests that up to 90% of patients may be fitted successfully the first time with the VTI single “universal add” lens design. This compares to 57% first fit success rates and an average of 2.4 fittings for other multifocal contact lenses according to Dr. Dillehay. “This unique lens design offers the opportunity to simplify the entire fitting process for both practitioners and patients,” she added.
Visioneering has completed extensive clinical testing which has shown excellent visual performance for their lens design, and is currently working on commercialization plans.