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Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, April to June 2021

AAO Urges Ophthalmic Equipment Manufacturers to Standardize Digital Imaging
Innovations, Ocuco's Lab Management Software, is awarded Best Optical Lab Software Vertical for 2021
DANSHARI inaugurates the new Logistics Centre in Montebelluna
OSA and ABDO to share benefits
Okia strengthens its commitment to green
Read the archived Industry News from January to March 2021

AAO Urges Ophthalmic Equipment Manufacturers to Standardize Digital Imaging

April 2021

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, this week published a report urging ophthalmic imaging device manufacturers to standardize image formats to comply with the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard. DICOM is recognized in the United States and throughout the world as the medical imaging standard.

Widespread adoption of a uniform standard can revolutionize ophthalmology practices by promoting more efficient patient care, enabling the creation of comprehensive datasets for research and big data analyses, and developing algorithms for machine learning and artificial intelligence, according to an AAO news release.

This recommendation has already been endorsed by the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Lead author, Aaron Y. Lee, MD, MSCI, makes clear that the current lack of standardization in ophthalmology is holding back progress in the profession.

“One of the most important issues limiting clinical and research progress in the field of ophthalmology is the lack of standards for imaging and functional testing,” Dr. Lee said. “The new horizon of tools for digital healthcare rely on being able to interact algorithmically and extract data at scale. Right now, there has been great progress with electronic health record data becoming standardized and available directly to patients, but the same has not yet happened for imaging and functional testing data that we routinely collect in our clinics.”

Dr. Lee stressed that the benefit to patients would be significant. As physicians gain better access to images and reports, they can provide faster and more coordinated care, he said.

The Academy has long championed the DICOM standard, which includes a system of globally agreed-upon ophthalmological definitions. It promotes the seamless sharing of medical images by detailing how to format and exchange images and the information with which it is associated, such as the text describing the image and patient demographic information. DICOM compliance is low for ophthalmic imaging technologies. Even so-called “DICOM compliant” devices fail to fully meet DICOM standards. Currently, there is no easy way to exchange digital imaging data from one manufacturer’s equipment to another’s without creating a custom interface.

The report cites two specific examples of how ophthalmologists would benefit:

Provide machine-readable, discrete data for user selected reports of ophthalmic imaging or functional testing. Currently, when a patient’s OCT image or visual field test is stored, an ophthalmologist must retrieve and view that information separately, and then access the patient’s electronic medical record to obtain additional information about visual acuity and treatment history, etc.

There is no way to bring all the data in one place to inform clinical decision making.

Use of lossless compression for pixel or voxel data to encode the same raw data as used by manufacturers. When an imaging device or functional testing device captures data, it is often compressed to make the files smaller, which can degrade image quality. It is important for this data to be available from the manufacturers so ophthalmologists can provide the best quality care for our patients. Poor image quality can also lead to problems when AI models are being developed or new digital health tools are deployed.

“Other fields of medicine like Radiology have blazed ahead of our field by utilizing these standards to their fullest extent,” Dr. Lee said. “In some ways, it is much harder in our field because we have such a diverse variety of imaging devices and testing modalities. This variety is what makes ophthalmology so rich with information but also makes it difficult for standards to keep up with the constant innovation. My hope is that not only would vendors be willing to adopt and conform to standards but also be willing to define them for new modalities where the DICOM standard does not currently exist. The recommendations in this statement are just the first step in the direction that we need to go.”

“For most of the commonest causes of sight-loss in the UK, we are highly dependent on the remarkable imaging systems we use,” said Alastair Denniston, Consultant Ophthalmologist & Hon Professor, RCOphth Audit & Informatics Subcommittee. “But that can be severely limited if systems ‘won’t talk to each other’. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is supporting this important global initiative from the AAO, as it is a key step towards ensuring maximal interoperability for improving care and accelerating research into these sight-threatening conditions.”

Daniel Ting, MD, Chair of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology’s AI & Digital Innovation Standing Committee, adds: “The Asia-Pacific region, consisting of both developed and developing countries, is the home to 60% of the world’s population, accounting for up to 4.3 billion. Given the ageing population made worse by COVID-19 pandemic crisis, there is a pressing need for digital transformation in healthcare. In ophthalmology, the standardization of ocular imaging can facilitate the push for artificial intelligence, deep learning and big data analytics to enhance patients’ care and experience for global eye health. Thus, the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) will support and endorse the AAO recommendation for ocular image standardization.”

Innovations, Ocuco's Lab Management Software, is awarded Best Optical Lab Software Vertical for 2021

April 2021

Innovations, Ocuco's Lab Management Software (LMS), has been awarded Best Optical Lab Software Vertical for 2021 by HealthCare Insights Magazine, which annually recognizes leading companies in the healthcare sector.

Innovations is Ocuco's flagship optical lab management software. Ocuco officially entered the LMS segment in 2008 with the acquisition of Innovations. Ocuco's CEO and founder Leo Mac Canna explains that the Innovations' acquisition was part of a strategy to expand its footprint in the USA. "Innovations, however, turned out to be much more than a trojan horse: it is a fantastic piece of software. Additionally, the IP and the team behind Innovations have driven huge improvements in our retail offerings while becoming technology leaders in the lab business."

Created by leading lab professionals about 30 years ago, Innovations offers customization, enables productivity and delivers real-time data analysis for optical labs. Innovations integrates every aspect of lens production into a modular, flexible and comprehensive package to support, streamline and advance businesses. Currently, Innovations is the LMS chosen by 2,700 optical labs around the globe.

Innovations evolves continuously, and it adapts to any lab configuration. Consequently, it can be installed on one PC or multiple workstations. Another unique feature in the software is the Rules Engine, which enables labs to use data to influence any aspect of production. Additionally, Innovations integrates with all OMA (Optical Manufacturers Association) compatible equipment. Innovations is scalable with no upper limit on production capacity, perfect for any expanding optical lab.

Zenni Optical emphasizes that Ocuco delivers flawless software and impeccable service. "Ocuco is a trusted partner of Zenni Optical. Following a smooth implementation of the Innovations LMS in 2014, we have continued to receive excellent technical support from the Ocuco team. As a result, we are happy to recommend Ocuco and Innovations to industry peers," says Julia Zhen, Zenni's Optical Founder & CEO.

Looking to the future, Ocuco believes that cloud-based systems are here to stay. Thus, the company is focusing on leveraging this technology to enhance its products further. Delineating on the company's long-term goal, Leo adds, "Ocuco indeed will play a significant role in the eyecare industry as a pure technology company. Our long-term plans include consolidating Ocuco globally as a reference in software for the eyecare industry."

DANSHARI inaugurates the new Logistics Centre in Montebelluna

April 2021

The warehouse based in Italy will handle shipments to Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America

On February 15th Danshari inaugurated the new logistics center in Montebelluna, in the province of Treviso, with the aim of guaranteeing a more qualified and punctual service to its optical customers.

The warehouse is managed with the most modern picking softwares that guarantee operational efficiency, high productivity and reduced shipping times, allowing the company to coordinate in the best and quickest way all orders in order to process them in a maximum of two days to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

The warehouse will be used as a hub for the collection and shipping of POP materials, samples and spare parts.

As stated by Giuseppe La Boria, CEO of Danshari, “One of the cornerstones of Danshari philosophy is customer service. An aspect that is expressed not only with offering very high quality products, but also with particular attention to pre and post-sales customer service”.

The warehouse in Montebelluna will handle shipments to Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, while all shipments to Asia will continue to be handled by Hong Kong warehouse.

OSA and ABDO to share benefits

April 2021

Optical Suppliers Association OSA

The Optical Suppliers Association (OSA) joins forces with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) to increase the benefits for its members.

From now onwards all OSA members will be eligible to join the ABDO benefits programme.

In addition to the existing range of member benefits, this provides individuals with an enormous array of health and lifestyle benefits from discounts in high street stores such as M&S and Waitrose, concessions on Apple products, lower insurance rates, reduced gym memberships and much more.

Stuart Burn

OSA Chairman, Stuart Burn says " This is a very exciting step for the OSA...

There has never been a more important time to focus on wellbeing and by collaborating with ABDO we have delivered to our members and employees and exceptional array of benefits and discounts. This programme will allow members to enjoy exciting resources away from work and we are delighted to be able to facilitate that"

Sir Anthony Garrett

Sir Anthony Garrett
ABDO General Secretary commented, "I am delighted that OSA members can now access ABDO Lifestyle benefits. There has always been a close link between Dispensing Opticians in practice and our partners in industry who provide both equipment and product. I hope that this initiative will be the start of a new and even closer working relationship”

More about the Optical Suppliers Association

The OSA provides a platform for the optical industry to network, engage, influence regulation and spearhead developments in optics in the UK.

It provides a thriving network for companies involved in all aspects of manufacturing, distribution and supply to optical practices.

Optical Industry companies can get access to all these great benefits, by becoming an OSA member

Okia strengthens its commitment to green

April 2021

1 million bottles recycled into eyewear by 2021

Okia Reshape Campaign
One million of bottles to be recycled and turned into eyewear by 2021: this is the goal of OKIA, the Hong Kong-based eyewear company recognized worldwide for its patented HDA® Technology.

Thanks to the launch of the RESHAPETM project to produce eyewear entirely made of 100% recycled PET material from plastic bottles, the company never stops its commitment in promoting a green attitude, on the contrary it raises the bar to reach this ambitious target this year.

Each RESHAPETM model is made from 5 recycled water bottles and includes lenses which are biodegraded into water, carbon and biomass. According to the recent upgrade in the technology, with this material it is possible to produce eyewear even thinner and ultralight, very flexible and with a wider color range.

“According to recent trends, fashion brands aim to be 100% sustainable by 2025. I’m proud to say that we have been really pioneer in this subject when we launched the RESHAPETM material two years ago” says Jacky Lam, Managing Director at OKIA.

Moving into rPET will shift the industry forward, keeping plastic out of oceans and landfill, and reduce energy, CO2 and oil resources, recycling that will ultimately offer more potential for circularity in the future. Bottles are an abundant global waste stream and a relatively clean and low-chemical feedstock.



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