In the past few years, there has been an explosion of new refractive surgery technologies, including small-incision lenticule extraction, toric IOLs, a light-adjustable IOL, and trifocal IOLs now on the horizon. Some of these options are particularly suited for unique refractive circumstances and hold the potential to expand the refractive surgery market by introducing new candidates. That is, they can be offered to patients who may not have been candidates for previous technologies.
To capitalize on this growth opportunity for the refractive surgery market, it is important for eye care professionals to take advantage of collaborative efforts between ophthalmology and optometry. In-office efficiency, cost savings, and success can all be achieved if we work together to help launch these new refractive surgery technologies. Launching a new technology can be quite expensive when done through traditional marketing efforts, but OD and MD collaborations can save time and money, starting with regional provider educational meetings that can help seed grass-root patient education.
Being involved in patient education regarding leading-edge refractive options can allow a provider to differentiate himself or herself within a regional market. By becoming familiar with and involved with new technologies early, one can establish one’s practice as a center for excellence. This can be a particularly compelling opportunity for provider-owned private practice settings, as chain stores, commercial practices, and academic settings often lag behind with the newest technologies.
We live in an exciting time, when new technologies are opening the door to refractive surgery for patients who were previously not good candidates. It behooves us to take advantage of the rapid pace of innovation. Collaborative efforts among eye care providers may facilitate faster adoption of these innovations and cost-effective education of the public regarding these new options.
— William F. Wiley, MD
Co-Chief Medical Editor