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Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, April to September 2021






23° EYEWEAR _ A natural inclination The media campaign
WLC Celebrates 30 Years
Businesses given more time to apply new product safety marking
OKIA: a new step towards a better world
Ocuco Neutralises its Carbon Emissions Until 2022
OSA forms SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE
Shamir launches Metaform™ a breakthrough lens manufacturing technology
Body Doctor appoints Head of Professional Services
Creation of OSA Sustainability Committee
CATS Tonometer Receives FDA Clearance for Disposable Tonometer Prism
Luneau Technology and Optovue announce merger
Ocuco receives €40m finance boost to its R&D
Opchat News finds out more answers on the new MDA regulations
Cantor & Nissel to close artificial eyes division.
OSA anounces still more Member Benefits
Outside Clinic to recruit 50 optometrists following record growth
Mirage and North Sails Apparel announce licensing agreement
Successful OSA Summer Member Event reported
Zak Tomlinson joins Heidelberg Engineering Academy team
The Milanese independent brand MOVITRA expands distribution including UK
UKCA markings could leave sellers with a mountain of CE marked stock?
OSA hosts "Two key events for OSA members" in June 2021
Rayner Receives FDA Approval for RayOne Spheric Monofocal IOL
MIRAGE Green Challenge:The commitment of the Italian eyewear manufacturer for a sustainable world
British label EYE RESPECT, part of The GLBL Eyewear Group, expands distribution into Europe
Made for each other….Laboratoires Théa acquire The EyeBag® Brand
CooperVision announced its acquisition of No7 Contact Lenses.
Essilor Group to complete acquisition of Lenstec
New milestone for the Eye Doctor
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


23° EYEWEAR _ A natural inclination The media campaign

September 2021

23 degree eyewear 
Following the brand's launch last April, 23° Eyewear now presents its media campaign, a tribute to humans and their relationship with nature in its most intimate and genuine form. A visual portrayal of the physical need to come back to our essence, which we can only satisfy by recognizing the value of the world around us. A strong call to a simple, non-artificial dimension that unleashes pure sensations and feelings.

23° Eyewear becomes a manifesto of the very essence of nature and our need to reconnect with it with a new awareness. Because there is only one planet. And there is no more time for compromise.

23 Eyewear is made of NEUCLEUS, a cutting-edge blend of a naturally-derived biomaterial, high-tech processing and an innovative, sustainable production process that allows it to be recycled indefinitely. The 23° Eyewear collection is based on an "eco-thought": creating frames that in turn give life to other frames, eliminating waste.

A circular flow that begins, ends and begins again without stopping, in perpetual motion, like the Earth.

The Barberini mineral glass sunglass lenses not only ensure superior vision but, depending on the type and colour, make these glasses ideal for both city use and sporting activities in different weather conditions.

23° Eyewear was born from a collective of eco-warriors from different professional and cultural backgrounds, united by a common vision, an activist attitude and a ready-for-action mentality.

Watch video

WLC Celebrates 30 Years

August 2021


Stock lens supplier, WLC, celebrates its 30th anniversary this September and marks three dedicated decades of service to opticians all over the UK and Ireland.

Beginning as a three-person start-up in 1991 drumming up orders, today, the 46-person strong workforce deliver several thousand stock lenses each day.

Site manager, Phil Emerton, who has been with the company since the very beginning explains how reaching this anniversary is a huge landmark for the team.

Phil Emerton said: “In 1991 we opened a lens distribution business to service independent opticians with quality lenses at reasonable prices. The idea was quite revolutionary at the time and our ethos has always been about providing great service for our customers.

WLC 30th anniversary
“Personal service is key for the team, and this has helped us form great relationships with our customers over the years. If someone has a problem, we’re always there and will do our best to try and help find a solution.

“It’s usually all hands-on deck in the warehouse, we stay until all orders are fulfilled and out the door.

“The workforce is very loyal, and several staff have been with the company for more than ten years as they join and progress with us.”

Image: WLC team celebrating its 30th anniversary with long serving staff members (L-R) warehouse supervisor Craig Rose, warehouse manager Declon Thomas, site manager Phil Emerton, customer service manager Emma Hall and customer service supervisor Natalie Richardson

Businesses given more time to apply new product safety marking

August 2021

Government confirms businesses will have an extra year to start using the new product safety marking - the UKCA marking.


Businesses will have an additional year to apply new product safety markings for most products placed on the market in England, Scotland and Wales, the government has announced on 24th August.  

Recognising the impact of the pandemic on businesses, the government will extend this deadline to 1 January 2023 to apply UKCA marks for certain products to demonstrate compliance with product safety regulations, rather than 1 January 2022.

The UKCA marking replaces the product safety labelling the UK previously used while a member of the EU, such as the CE mark.

Today’s announcement, it says, follows the government’s extensive and ongoing engagement with business groups and reflects the issues businesses have raised, particularly given the impact of the pandemic.   

Businesses must take action to ensure they are ready to apply UKCA marking by 1 January 2023, the final deadline.

Opchat News has provided several storylines since late June on the incoming new MDA legislation, its affects on our industry, and its datelines that will be enforced.

This new deferred date provides clarity on when the UK must use the UKCA marking however there has been no guidance on whether the 30th June 2023 date remains which dictates the date companies cannot sell to UK opticians products with CE sole markings not previously placed originally in the legislation before January 1st 2021 but now 2022. Presumably this date should be deferred in line?

We will keep you informed. See our original dateline report here

OKIA: a new step towards a better world

August 2021

OKIA ISCC Mark

The Company has gained the ISCC - International Sustainability and Carbon Certification

A new step forward for a better green consciousness: OKIA has been recently appointed with the ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification), a globally leading certification system that offers solutions to address sustainability requirements for all feedstocks and markets.

Thanks to its RESHAPETM project to produce eyewear entirely made of 100% recycled PET material from plastic bottles, the HK-based company gives further input to its strong commitment to a more sustainable eyewear industry.

"OKIA sustainability is our key vision, we start to develop eco-materials years ago, and traceability of the entire supply chain is so vital. Now, our upcycled bottle collection RESHAPETM is produced by GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified material and manufactured in our GRS and ISCC certified production site in China" says Jacky Lam, Managing Director at OKIA.

The ISCC's objectives are contributing to the implementation of environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable production and use of all kinds of biomass in global supply chains. This certification is also well applied by key players in the eyewear industry.

Now OKIA can further strengthen its supply chain with ISCC certification, which means using renew materials in the mass balance process.

Ocuco Neutralises its Carbon Emissions Until 2022

August 2021

Ocuco Ltd announces its Dublin headquarters is carbon neutral until 2022.

In March 2020, the optical software company joined the GoCarbonNeutral.ie initiative to offset its carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions.

The three-year commitment builds on the sustainable mindset already ingrained within the company's culture as well as the products offered by the world's leading optical software provider.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, carbon neutrality can be obtained by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered . To achieve carbon neutrality at its Irish headquarters, Ocuco will offset 2,320 tonnes of CO₂ by reforesting almost 15 acres of native Irish woodland in Killultagh, County Roscommon. In total, 20,000 trees of native Irish species such as ash, birch and oak, will be planted during the first three years of commitment. Third-party foresters will audit this reforesting to ensure the highest international forestry management and certification .

Leo MacCanna & John Beckett Leo Mac Canna (left), Ocuco CEO, reinforces that it is imperative to tackle climate change. "The Earth Overshoot Day is arriving earlier every year. In 2021, humanity's demand for ecological resources and services had exceeded the planet's capacity to provide these resources on July 29 . As a leading provider of software in the optical sector, we must set an example and commit to avert global warming. Corporations, independent practices and individuals have a shared responsibility to mitigate their environmental impact."

In the United Kingdom, 780 million used contact lenses are disposed of every year, and only 3% of those are recycled . However, offsetting the optical industry carbon footprint is complex. The waste used by the sector includes different materials such as glass, plastics and metals as well as water used during the manufacturing process .

Ocuco has chosen this specific initiative to help reduce Ireland's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita and improve the country's ranking on the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021. According to the latest ranking edition, Ireland is one of the worst performing countries in the European Union in relation to GHG emissions .

Ocuco's latest action plan is to avert their carbon footprint globally.

Over the last 26 years, Ocuco has been developing products, that not only boost efficiencies across optical practices, but that also reduce their carbon footprint. Ocuco's range of software products enables electronic; patient records, ordering and benefit submissions reducing a practice's dependency on paper.

Its products also provide automated electronic communication solutions such as email and SMS patient reminders. In addition, Ocuco promotes the hosted version of its PMS and LMS products, condensing the need an optical business has for excessive hardware.

Currently, all of Ocuco's offices actively promote a paperless work environment by reducing the reliance on paper and encouraging recycling. In addition, they continuously raise awareness of environmental issues internally.

GoCarbonNeutral.ie: Pioneer Campaign

Ocuco is among the pioneer organisations in the Irish market to join the GoCarbonNeutral.ie drive; other members range from early-stage start-ups to large multinationals. This initiative is the flagship campaign of the Forestry Partners enterprise, launched in 2019. Its goal is to help businesses in the technology sector recognise their responsibility for their emissions and to offset their CO₂ by committing to join the campaign to fund woodland creation. GoCarbonNeutral.ie also aligns with seven of the UN Sustainable Development

Goals.

Founder of the social enterprise, John Beckett, emphasises the importance of the business community coming together to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis: "We are delighted to welcome Ocuco as a member of our not-for-profit GoCarbonNeutral.ie initiative.

We would encourage other companies to follow their lead, do everything possible to reduce their carbon footprint, and work with us to offset the balance through the planting and restoration of native Irish woodlands that will not only act as a national carbon sink but also as vital habitats for a variety of endangered species."

OSA forms SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE

August 2021

Jayne AbelThe Optical Suppliers Association (OSA) held its first meeting of the Sustainability Committee on Friday 23 July, where it was agreed that Jayne Abel would be Chair and Julian Wiles the Deputy Chair. Positions will be up for rotation on an annual basis.

How to behave in a more environmentally sensitive and more sustainable way are very big topics – and there are many different and often confusing resources available.

Jayne Abel expressed her delight at being asked to Chair this important new committee, and stressed the challenges that OSA members face:
“The climate crisis is real and we must act now. As business owners we have a responsibility to take custody of our industry, to monitor and manage its impact on the natural world. There is a growing portfolio of eco-suppliers in the UK, EU and Far East and the more we invest in them, the wider and more cost-effective our choices will be in the coming decade”.

The OSA will develop a voluntary charter that members can sign up to, to show their commitment to behaving an environmentally responsible way.

As a first step, to help members down this road, the committee will begin work on some basic guidance on key concepts and a glossary of terms. It will also compile a list of accreditation schemes and companies.

The OSA will also work with colleagues in the optical sector, including ABDO, who have developed a workstream on social, ethical and environmental (SEE) initiatives, and are holding their first SEE Summit on the Environment on 4 October. OSA are delighted to be supporting this event – you can find out more and book a place here.

OSA members have been invited to join the Committee to assist and other industry players should consider joining the OSA to play a part in this important work that will eventually affect all.

Find out more about the OSA here

Shamir launches Metaform™ a breakthrough lens manufacturing technology

August 2021


Metaform from Shamir

Metaform enables the production of a new type of lens that does not currently exist in the market - enhancing any lens, in any index, with a range of capabilities in a unique manufacturing process.

After years of research, Shamir is proud to present Metaform, its nano structure lens manufacturing technology that offers a new breed of compromise-free superpowered lenses with all the optical, physical features and coating built-in.

In a world of unprecedented choices, we often find ourselves trading off safety for aesthetics, fast service for high quality. All the latest technologies have made us impatient about having to compromise and this is especially true when it comes to eyeglasses. Metaform technology answers this need with a new lens that is super strong, thin, light and coated with all the elements coexisting without compromise.


Metaform technology creates a new breed of lenses by rapidly fusing a multi-feature Preform™ overlay, which combines a range of optical and physical properties, with any lens, in an eco-friendly thermoforming station. The Preform™ contains a super resistant optical film which is also used by the automobile, aviation and space industry, including NASA, due to its impact resistance qualities - enabling a thinner and lighter lens.

This technology superpowers lenses in one go. The result is a new lens that is up to 18 times stronger than the FDA standard requirement and up to 40% thinner and lighter than regular lenses (in minus lenses) with the coating built in.

According to Yagen Moshe, CEO of Shamir Optical Industry, “The optical industry underwent a revolution with the launch of Freeform, and with Metaform, we are proud to bring to the world the next technological revolution in the world of optics, breaking the boundaries of what’s possible in lens production.” He adds, “Shamir has always been known for revolutionizing customer experience with new innovations. The Metaform technology takes our performance even further than before, using special materials and algorithms ensuring rapid production, uniform quality from lens to lens and clearer vision.”

In addition, the Metaform production process is up to 80% more energy efficient than many of the alternatives, using minimal water, chemical and energy consumption, leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint and minimizing impact on the environment.

Metaform was co-developed with Satisloh® and will be launched in Portugal, followed by Italy, Canada, Israel and the rest of Shamir’s locations worldwide.

Shamir is proud to lead the optical industry with this latest innovation, designed to offer compromise free superpowered lenses for those who need to correct their vision with the newest technological means. As this is considered the technological platform of the future, other features will be added over time.

Body Doctor appoints Head of Professional Services

July 2021

The Body Doctor company has appointed Andrew Price as its Head of Professional Services. This is a new role at the company which designs and manufactures The Eye Doctor range of antibacterial eye compresses, lid wipes and eye drops.

Andrew Price Body Doctor Mr Price is a contact lens and dry eye specialist who owns a specialist contact lens consultancy and has been a member of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) for over 30 years. He is chief executive of The ADP Consultancy, managing developer of the Eye Drops Database and is a professional affairs consultant for a number of other eye care companies. He runs contact lens and dry eye clinics in Nantwich, Ellesmere Port and Southport. He also lectures and is an associate member of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE).

Speaking of his new appointment with The Body Doctor, Mr Price said: “I hope to show that the application of The Eye Doctor products is backed by evidence-based science and how their recommended use can directly apply to primary eye care for the benefit of the patient and the practice.

“I think the role will enable practices to see how world class products can fit into the eye care they provide, helping their patients and building their business.”

Explaining the new role within The Body Doctor, Managing Director, Sue Grant, said:
“During the Covid restrictions with the transmission of infection in everyone’s mind, one of questions that came to Andrew was, are home-use hot compresses a potential harbor for micro-organisms, especially when used for conditions that often have a bacterial overload?

“As Andrew was aware, we had done extensive research on the problem of bacteria on hot compresses and he requested the data. He found the evidence both a revelation and concerning. The more we discussed this evidence and its implications, the more we found we had in common and it seemed a natural extension to work together.

“Andrew will be able to communicate the benefits of our products to help patients and practices on many different levels. He will also be undertaking clinical trials on behalf of The Body Doctor with the emphasis on how the evidence can be used in practice.”

Creation of OSA Sustainability Committee

July 2021

Conversations about the environment and what we can each individually do to combat climate change has formed part of national discourse for some time now. This month’s updated report by the Environment Agency concluded that’ there are opportunities to improve health through the choices government, regulators, businesses and individuals make in creating and contributing to healthier, greener and more accessible environments’. The optical industry is no exception and the OSA will be holding their first Sustainability Committee meeting on Friday 23 July.

All OSA members are welcome to attend to discuss ways forward for the optical manufacturing sector. OSA members know the huge importance of this issue and companies have already seen the importance of environmentally responsibility - from looking at ways to recycle more often, reduce waste, and reduce our carbon footprint as manufacturers and suppliers and Stuart Burn, OSA Chairman, will be chairing this meeting:

“This is a vital piece of work for all our members to get behind. We all have a duty to reduce the negative impacts we impose on our environment and give our generation and future generations a pathway to sustainability.”

OSA Director Julian Wiles - who was due to host a panel on optical environmental sustainability last year which was sadly postponed due to Covid-19 – adds “if your business does not have an environmental sustainability vision statement, it is something that we strongly urge you to consider producing.

This meeting can discuss how OSA members can implement this and many other positive environmental outcomes for their business.”

CATS Tonometer Receives FDA Clearance for Disposable Tonometer Prism

July 2021

Cats-D Tononometer Heads News from accross the pond announces that the CATS-D Disposable Prism, designed to deliver improved IOP measurement accuracy using a sterile, disposable tip replacement for the Goldmann Tonometer, received FDA clearance and will be available for sale in the fall of 2021.

“The CATS Tonometer Prism is designed to provide more accurate IOP assessment, sparing patients and clinicians from the damaging consequences of over and under estimation of IOP,” Nathan Radcliffe, MD, associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at Mount Sinai Hospital, said in a company news release.

The CATS-D Tonometer Prism’s advanced technology, coupled with an intuitive ergonomic design, provides clinical ease of use while helping protect patients and staff from transferrable infections such as COVID-19, which can occur with an uncleaned or improperly cleaned reusable tonometer prism.

“As the only U.S. tonometer prism manufacturer, we believe the CATS Tonometer Prism, available in both reusable and disposable options, will quickly supplant a 60-year-old prism technology and become the new standard of care for IOP measurement for eye care clinicians (ophthalmology and optometry) and all patient populations,” said CATS Tonometer CEO Sean McCafferty, MD.

“The CATS Tonometer Prism is designed to deliver more accurate IOPs, because it compensates for corneal biomechanics,” John Berdahl, MD, ophthalmologist surgeon with Vance Thompson Vision, said in the news release.

CATS Tonometer President Nannon Roosa stated, “The company is confidant clinicians will adopt the CATS-D Prism to protect their patients and staff in accordance with the preferred use of sterile, single-use prisms as recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.”

Luneau Technology and Optovue announce merger

July 2021

The two companies are perfectly matched to create a complete offering for eyecare physicians and transform access to visual health for patients


Luneau Technology and Optovue Inc. have announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge. The newly merged company will continue to serve eyecare professionals as a major player with innovative product lines and a strong focus on its telehealth solution. The transaction remains subject to additional customary conditions to completion and legal approvals.

Their combined power will allow them to leverage their industry expertise, strengthen their international footprint, and provide customers with game-changing solutions spanning a full product range. Their joint vision is to be the first-choice partner for primary eyecare physicians and significantly optimize access to visual health for patients across the globe.

Dr. Marc Abitbol will preside over the newly merged company, while Peter Wyles will continue his role as CEO of Optovue. Luneau Technology and Optovue will continue to deploy products through their existing channels and will initially focus on the sharing of best practices to fuel the future development and innovation of their core products.

“This is the perfect marriage,” exclaims Dr. Abitbol. “It will benefit us, our clients and patients. Optical Coherence Tomography is the next technology we were looking for, and it fits beautifully into our product offering. By joining forces with Optovue, we’ll be able to offer a significantly improved customer experience with full front- and back-of-the-eye platforms – stronger together.”

Wyles agrees. “This merger really makes sense for both of our companies” he adds. “We are thrilled to work together toward our common vision, while at the same time, significantly optimizing the customer experience. We’re excited about embarking on this exciting new journey.”

► Headquartered in France, Luneau Technology is a world-class player in visual healthcare. The company develops, manufactures and markets innovative devices for optometrists, ophthalmic and optical professionals with products based on WAVEFRONT technology. Their flagship brand VISIONIX is a key embodiment of this technology.

► Optovue Inc. is a privately held medical device company founded by Jay Wei in 2003. Headquartered in Fremont, California, the company is dedicated to the advancement and commercialization of high-speed OCT and OCTA technology used to facilitate the diagnosis and management of eye diseases. Under Wei’s guidance, Optovue was the first to market spectral domain OCT in the US and now deploys its technology worldwide.

Ocuco receives €40m finance boost to its R&D

July 2021

Ocuco Ltd, the leading provider of software to the eyecare industry worldwide, has announced today a €40m refinancing including a €25m term extension of its facilities with Wells Fargo Capital Finance (Technology Finance Division) and a €10m commitment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), with an agreement for another €5m planned.

The investment will primarily support continued Research and Development (R&D) as well as product development at Ocuco's global headquarters in Blanchardstown, Dublin. The tech company plans a staffing growth from 80 to 130 software developers to build out the next generation of its omnichannel, clinical and optical practice management systems on the cloud. There will also be an expansion in the company's international teams in the UK, Europe and the US.

Leo Mac Canna, Founder and CEO, Ocuco;
Leo Mac Canna, founder and CEO, said: "Following the disruption caused by the pandemic on all industries exposed to retail trade, we are delighted to be in a strong position to invest in the future, both for our staff and for our customers, which include independent opticians and some of the world's largest optical retail chains. We believe that the eyecare industry must move online to compete in the future and meet customer demand. The next generation of our products is designed to meet this shift towards mixed provision of eyecare services both online and on-premise."

The company has grown both organically and through acquisition to over €35m in revenues and 300 staff based across 18 offices in 14 countries. With customers in over 10,000 sites in 80 countries, over 50% of sales are in North America. Over the last decade, Ocuco has acquired over 15 companies and intends to resume its acquisition programme as opportunities present.

Fergal McAleavy, Senior Investment Director ISIF; Leo Mac Canna, Founder and CEO, Ocuco; Nick Ashmore, Director, ISIF. Picture Fennell Photography
Fergal McAleavy, Senior Investment Director ISIF; Leo Mac Canna, Founder and CEO, Ocuco; Nick Ashmore, Director, ISIF. Picture Fennell Photography

Fergal Meegan, Davy's financial advisor to Ocuco, stated: "Ocuco is leading by example with a 20-year history, growing an indigenous software multinational from its Irish base. It has continuously recruited the finest talent to grow an international leadership position at the frontier of the growing digital enablement for the eyecare market. The business is capitalised for the next phase of exciting growth and, as such, it has been great to be a part of putting the parties together."

Fergal McAleavey, Senior Investment Director, ISIF, said: "ISIF has a double bottom line mandate to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland. This investment is a great example of that mandate in action while also supporting an indigenous software company. We're delighted to have a company of Ocuco's calibre in our stable and to partner with them on their journey towards €100m+ in sales."

Opchat News finds out more answers on the new MDA regulations.

July 2021

Since highlighting concerns on the effects of the new MDA regs in June :

“UKCA markings could leave sellers with a mountain of CE marked stock?” June 2021/industry

Following some questions you sent in to Opchat News we have further inquired about the status of ce marked stock after July 1st 2023.

We based our initial concerns on early information we received in correspondence with OSA (Optical Suppliers Guide) advisors.

Since then Ann Blackmore (OSA Advisor) has penetrated the grey depths of market law as it pertains to goods “placed” in the market and drawn significant distinctions between importers, distributors and retailers.

If you "placed" goods on the UK market (or in an EU or EEA state) before 1 January 2021, you do not need to do anything for these individual goods. EEA states include any country in the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

This is important because goods “placed in the market” for the first time are the responsibility of the importer or the distributer who places new goods within a market such as the UK.

Once available in the market and passed to other wholesalers and retailers they can be available for sale even with a lone ce mark after July 2023. Therefore, all goods held in stock past this date will still be free of any restrictions to sell or be glazed.

We can therefore offer some relief that a “mountain of ce stock” or what is left on the shelves can continue to be sold to the end user or retailer.

This will provide relief to companies with large stocks of ce marked frames and sunglasses placed in the market before January 2021.
i.e. They can continue to circulate on either market until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that took effect from 1 January 2021.

Difference between an Importer and a distributor

You are an importer if you’re the first one bringing goods from outside the UK and "placing" them on the market in Great Britain. But If someone has already placed a good on the UK market before you sell it in Great Britain you will remain a distributor and will not have any additional responsibilities.

If the optician is directly importing the frames or lenses for their sole use, they are "placing" them on the market. So they will be recognised as importers in that case and must follow the rules for placing goods in the market which will need a UKCA marking, however the rules allow continued placement of CE marked goods until June 30th 2023 .

We belive It is possible to import frames and have them marked with both UKCA and CE marks, as we know imported medical devices can be CE marked, UKCA marked, or both..

As Ann commented “There are a whole lot of reasons for opticians taking a step back from importing directly because it looks like you take on a number of additional responsibilities as an importer, just be very aware of the implications.”

Ann Blackmore has been involved at almost all levels of European Laws effecting the Optical Confederation and is an independent adviser for the OSA.

Dates concerning MDA

January 2021
Goods placed on the market before this date can continue to be sold without any restriction.

January 2022

The conforming frames and lenses will need be marked with the term UKCA (UK Conformity Accessed).

30th June 2023.

After that date companies cannot sell to UK opticians products with CE sole markings not previously placed before January 1st 2021.

Importers, manufacturers and distributors placing goods for the first time in the market with conformity processes in place under the CE rules can also use them to apply for UKCA markings but will not need to make a formal application for UKCA certification.

Cantor & Nissel to close artificial eyes division.

July 2021

Cantor & Nissel have announced that they have closed their Hemel Hempstead unit, which made artificial eyes, shells, and various animation projects.

“Business in this market has been difficult for some time, and now we need Medical Devices Regulation for the products it has become even more expensive to run.” Said David Cantor.

“Add on the fact that animation work is increasingly being done by 3D printing and the future was not looking favourable. On top of this Brexit means that bringing in samples, socket moulds, etc and returning to them with the new product was very complicated. No tariff codes exist for some items and customs held everything up.”

None of this work overlaps with Cantor & Nissel’s main business at Brackley so although a small number of customers will be disappointed the change will not affect the rest of the business and indeed strengthen their core business.

The company have referred old customers to laboratories in Europe who specialise in this work.

OSA anounces still more Member Benefits

June 2021

The OSA are delighted to bring a new member benefit - to their OSA members, they and their employees can access Health Assured’s EAP (Employee Assistance Programme).

The last year and a half has been difficult for many and this EAP is designed to help anyone deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting your home life or work life, health, and general wellbeing. Health Assured can offer many confidential services including the following:

• Life support: Access to counselling for emotional problems and a pathway to structured therapy sessions at your convenience.
• Legal information: For issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, consumer, property or neighbour disputes
• Bereavement support: Health Assured offers qualified and experienced counsellors who can help with grief plus legal advisors to help with related legal matters.
• Medical information: Qualified nurses are on hand to offer support on a range of medical or health-related issues offering practical information and advice.
• Online CBT: Health Assured recognise the value of self-help tools in dealing with a range of issues, which is why they have a range of CBT self-help modules, informative fact sheets and invaluable advice videos from leading qualified counsellors.

Health Assured also offers support for you and your immediate family members, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

Outside Clinic to recruit 50 optometrists following record growth

June 2021

• Leading at-home eye care provider plans to grow its 75-strong team of optometrists by two-thirds over the next 12 months
• It’s on track to achieve a record £30m turnover following a 50% rise in demand for its domiciliary services – with owners, Optimism Health Group, aiming to create a £100m turnover business in next five years
• To support the recruitment drive, it has created a series of short videos spotlighting the benefits and rewards that come with a career in domiciliary eye care

Steve Clerk testing at a Px's home
OutsideClinic, the UK’s leading provider of home eye care and hearing services, is launching its biggest ever recruitment drive to find 50 optometrists over the next 12 months, following a 50% rise in demand for its services since the start of the year.

The Swindon-headquartered company plans to grow its 75-strong optometry team by two-thirds (to 125), improving both its reach and appointment capacity. In addition, the company also plans to recruit a further 13 people to a variety of roles within its support teams.


The move follows a huge increase in demand for its at-home services amongst the over 65’s market it primarily serves, with OutsideClinic on track to achieve a record £30m turnover this financial year.

Demand for the company’s services, which see its clinicians conduct an average of 100,000 eye and hearing tests in patients’ homes each year, has been fuelled by a growing over-65’s market, with the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in many older people preferring to book home visits rather than travel to their high street optician.

With projections forecasting that people aged 65 and over will account for almost a quarter of the UK population by 2038¹, and the home healthcare market expected to grow by 6.4% from 2019 to 2026², the company is priming itself for further growth. Its owners, Optimism Health Group, aim to turn OutsideClinic into a £100m turnover business over the next five years.

To support its recruitment plans, the company has created a series of short videos, which you can watch here, spotlighting the work its optometrists do and the many benefits that come with a career at the forefront of domiciliary eye care. These include not having to work weekends like high street opticians and access to the very latest, state-of-the-art equipment and peer support.

Ricahrd Gibson MD Outside Clinic
Commenting on the recent growth and recruitment drive, OutsideClinic’s managing director, Richard Gibson, pictured right, said:
“Demand for our industry-leading optometry services has never been greater, with our talented team delivering clinically excellent eye care in the homes of tens of thousands of people every year.

“With the over-65 population set to grow significantly, we anticipate demand for our domiciliary optometry services will increase substantially in the coming years and it’s vital we’re able to meet this, while continuing to deliver the gold standard eye care our patients have come to expect from us.

“Our existing clinicians tell us that domiciliary eye care with OutsideClinic is more interesting and rewarding than anything they’ve done before, so we’re delighted to be in a position where we’re able to offer so many new opportunities to become part of our talented optometry team.

“We promise industry-leading technology, unrivalled flexibility and the time and support needed to provide a service that makes a genuine difference to the lives of the people that need us the most.”

Mirage and North Sails Apparel announce licensing agreement

June 2021

The agreement is for the production and distribution of north sails-branded sunglasses

Mirage and North Sails

Mirage - one of the most advanced (and historic) producers of Polyamide (Nylon) eyewear in history and the first in Italy to have used amorphous Polyamides since the 1980s and Grilamid TR90 since the early 1990s - and North Sails Apparel have signed a licensing agreement for the production and distribution of North Sails-branded sunglasses. Distribution has recently started on the Italian market through Mirage's network of agents and will subsequently be extended to Europe and the rest of the world.

The partnership between the two companies is underpinned by shared values and a common entrepreneurial vision driven by an ethical and sustainable business culture, withinvestments in cutting-edge plants and energy-efficient processes that contribute to a reduced impact on the environment; continuous research and development of materials to produce sustainable and recycled eyewear; staff training to promote ethical behavior in the workplace: these are just some of the actions Mirage has taken on its path to innovation, which will be completed when it obtains the UNI EN ISO 14001-15 certification.

Since 2017, North Sails has aimed to become more environmentally sustainable as it is aware that resources are not unlimited and it is therefore necessary to develop innovative production processes to reduce waste, use renewable energy and choose recycled and recyclable materials.


Founded in 1957 by Lowell North, a US sailor and Olympic gold medalist, North Sails has established itself as the world's leading sailmaker over the decades. Lowell's dream of creating the best and fastest sails lives on in the clothing and accessories collections, which are designed to allow the wearer to concentrate freely on what they really want, whether they are sailing on the waves of the sea or going about their daily business.

The eyewear collection pays a tribute to the concept of exploration, a key element of the brand and, in keeping with the North Sails GO BEYOND motto - which means to go beyond one's limits, where others can't go - launches the motto SEE BEYOND - an invitation to see beyond, in the same spirit.

All models are made in Italy and, in keeping with the brand's commitment to Ocean Conservation, are made of technical (including floating), eco-sustainable and recycled materials (such as fishing nets), with high-performance lenses to guarantee a top-class viewing experience. The packaging is also made from 100% recycled materials.

The urban-tech look of the collection combines Italian design and functional details in a line of men's and women's eyewear designed for extreme sports, but which can also be worn in a casual context, always with the brand's modern and distinctive flair.

North Sails sunglasses will be available at selected opticians and in flagship stores worldwide.

Successful OSA Summer Member Event reported

June 2021

OSA June members meeting at Oxford

OSA members gather in Oxford for their first major event post pandemic.

‘This is our inaugural Members Summer Meeting’ OSA Chairman Stuart Burn told attendees at the Oxfordshire Hotel on 23 June.

The informal event was the Association’s first physical meeting since the pandemic and offered members the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf or a spa treatment along with dinner and drinks that evening and - most crucially after a tough 16 months - the enjoyment of socialising together and networking again.

A short meeting took place the following morning where all attendees were updated on the progress the OSA has made recently and its plans for the future.

Stuart said ‘It’s been a pivotal 18 months for OSA. The Board have completely transformed the organisation into a robust, forward thinking and progressive Association. We wish to continue along these lines by engaging with our colleagues in the optical world and by promoting, assisting and supporting optical suppliers across the UK.’

OSA Vice Chair Andy Hepworth added ‘It was great to update members on the ongoing work of OSA. This event was the perfect opportunity to do so and it was simply wonderful to finally catch up ‘in person’ with some great people’.

The next major meeting of OSA members will be the AGM and luncheon which will be held on 10 December 2021, with the location to be confirmed soon.

Zak Tomlinson joins Heidelberg Engineering Academy team

June 2021

Zak Tomlinson at Heidelberg Academy Heidelberg Engineering has recruited a new imaging expert, Zak Tomlinson, to join the Academy department. Zak, who trained at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and has 6 years’ experience as an Ophthalmic Science Practitioner, joins as the Clinical Application Specialist for the north of the UK.

He will support the existing Academy team in providing training to eye care professionals on the Heidelberg Engineering product portfolio.

Zak, who is already a talented SPECTRALIS OCT operator, is delighted to be joining Heidelberg Engineering –

“I’m thrilled to have joined the Heidelberg Engineering Academy team. Having spent the last six years using the SPECTRALIS clinically in one of the UK’s largest ophthalmic imaging departments, I look forward to my new role where I can highlight just how good Heidelberg Engineering products are. For me Heidelberg Engineering are the industry leader, and I can’t wait to be a part of this journey.”

Zak has been warmly welcomed by the Heidelberg Engineering team as Emily Malbon, Head of UK Marketing and Education, said “We are excited to grow our Academy team and strengthen our position as leaders in clinical education. Zak’s experience and energy will help us deliver high quality, consistent education at every level from research to clinic, and high street optometry.”

The Milanese independent brand MOVITRA expands distribution including UK

June 2021

Following the launch of its innovative optical collection, Italian eyewear label MOVITRA confirms global expansion program is well underway.

ORUS by Movitra MOVITRA, the pioneers of a one-of-a-kind folding design of sunglasses patented in 2016, have confirmed the growth of their global distribution network, following the release in February of their first optical designs. Beyond their home market of Italy, the label has established distribution in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Switzerland. In 2021, they have added distribution partners in Albania, Austria, Germany, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Puerto Rico, Poland, UAE and the UK.

Giuseppe Pizzuto, Co-Founder said: “We are very satisfied that with the launch of our highly researched optical models characterized by the unique patented folding system that first brought us notoriety, now is the perfect time to undertake steady growth and expansion in new markets. In 2021, we have been successful with our move into the Middle East and key European markets such as Germany and the UK, and we will continue to search for distribution partners further afield who share our passion for technical innovation and handmade Italian design.”

Argo by Movitra
Today, MOVITRA’s comprehensive sun and optical collection is characterized by a combination of abstract inspiration and technical expertise, resulting in an impressive contemporary identity and smart Italian infused aesthetic style. The sunglass collection comprises 20 styles for men and women while the new optical collection consists of four new models – ARGO, HORUS, ESACO and ISI. The ARGO and the HORUS propose a lightweight combination of acetate and stainless steel, the first time this combination of materials has appeared in the line. All four optical frames are characterized by a minimal, light and comfortable construction resulting from a meticulous technical development of both the frame and the rotating system, a key focus for this collection going forward.


In November 2020, MOVITRA unveiled a high-impact brand identity with a new logo, monochrome colour palette and refined visual details including the catchy, memorable English tag line – 2 souls. 1 brand.

MOVITRA is currently looking for distribution partners in Asia (all territories), Benelux and the US/Canada. The brand plans to exhibit at MIDO in Milan (Italy) in February 2022 where the team looks forward to the launch of another new and innovative frame concept.

UKCA markings could leave sellers with a mountain of CE marked stock?

June 2021

OSA The Optical Suppliers Association held a very useful and informative webinar recently on the forthcoming law changes on Medical Device Agency regulations for spectacle frames, spectacle lenses, contact lenses and their supply.
Ann Blackmore led a discussion with a large number of OSA members who import and export both to the EU and Northern Ireland as well as providing home sales to UK optical providers.

Ann has been involved at almost all levels of European Laws effecting the Optical Confederation and is an independent adviser on such complicated matters and has been in past times advising FODO and continues to attend and sit on many of the key committees negotiating MDA adherence whilst trying like the profession did back in 2002 and before to ensure a light touch approach especially to the provision of spectacles either whole or as lens and frame parts.

Brexit has created an unusual divide not least between the UK and its Northern Ireland neighbours and of course the EU. One would have thought that the rules of engagement for safety and quality reasons would have allowed parity. Oh no, that's far too simple.

What we have now is a set of rules both from the EU and the UK MDA which create the goal posts positioning and the dates to work to but a lack of clear dimensions of said goals. In other words, the devil will be in the detail but from the UK perspective there is a lack of detail as yet.

In short, the CE mark that we all are very aware of on our frames we dispense and on the lens packets we receive will no longer be eligible past a grandfathering date to sell in the UK.

That date is 30th June 2023.

After that date companies cannot sell to UK opticians products with CE sole markings and opticians cannot ask glazers to glaze CE marked frames as they will not be deemed as a correctly adapted product for sale by glazing with UKCA marked lenses.

That is because from next year January 2022 the conforming frames and lenses will need be marked with the term UKCA (UK Conformity Accessed). Precise details (or the devilish small print) are yet to be formulated.

However those importers, manufacturers and wholesalers with conformity processes in place under the CE rules can also use them to apply for UKCA markings but will not need or be able to make a formal application for UKCA certification for at least 2 years. As eyewear is way down the list of importance. They will however be expected to have all their products UKCA marked post Jan 2022.

This gives everyone with CE marked frames and sunglasses, a mountain of products no doubt, 2 years to sell off the stock.

Sunglass and spectacle frame B2C traders as with businesses could always sell off your CE stock to opticians in the EU but you would need to provide a representative to hold your records of conformity and identity based in an EU country.

If you thought that was complicated, consider the companies selling to N Ireland. Their stock must be marked both with the CE and UKCA markings to comply!

One hopes that common-sense will prevail allowing, just as for reglazes, a glazer to verify the competency of a new CE only marked frame and judge it safe to glaze creating a perfectly adapted device.

Or is that wishful thinking!

Congrats to the OSA in attempting to bring its members up to date on what is a complicated issue.

OSA hosts "Two key events for OSA members" in June 2021

May 2021

Following a busy start to 2021, with the completion of the sale of the London headquarters, reduced subscription fees for members and a huge swathe of new member benefits thanks to a collaboration with ABDO, the OSA now has two important dates coming up in June.

Learn about Post-Brexit MDR Regs

On Thursday 3 June there will be a special meeting taking place for membership to discuss concerns about post-Brexit MDR regulation.

This is a thorny subject with potentially huge implications for OSA members. Following members’ feedback, the OSA called this meeting so that concerns, comments and questions on this issue can be gathered and put to the MHRA requesting the clearest possible guidance.

Anne Blackmore Optical Political Consultant

Ann Blackmore,
OSA Consultant, is chairing this meeting: ‘post-Brexit was always going to be a difficult time as manufacturers, importers and exporters got used to new rules and regulations. But it is doubly difficult for medical device manufacturers because the change has coincided with the introduction of new and different rules in the EU. That is why it is so important that the MHRA provides strong support and clear guidance.’ states Ann.

OSA Vice Chair Andy Hepworth adds ‘To call this a thorny subject probably understates the complexity of this area. The great news is that the OSA have again captured the thinking of Ann Blackmore to support our membership’. Members may also be interested to know that a ‘UK Regulations’ page has been added to the OSA website to help suppliers with regards to MDR and the future regulatory framework – please go to www.osa-uk.co.uk for more information.

Summer Members Event

Impending Brexit regulations and, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic hit everyone hard in 2020 and the annual December luncheon was postponed. Consequently, the OSA is holding a Summer Members’ Event to celebrate membership and the easing of lockdown measures.

Wednesday 23 June will see an unforgettable occasion for members at ‘The Oxfordshire’ hotel in Thame, Oxfordshire.

Members can network and meet up to relax with golf on a championship golf course, spa treatments, a meal and drinks as well as lavish overnight accommodation.

This will be at minimal cost to members to help celebrate a return to pre-lockdown life. A brief meeting will be held the next day to discuss any vital OSA business.

Stuart Burn OSA Chairman says: ‘I am delighted we are holding our first physical event in well over a year and look forward to seeing as many members as possible. We all have stories to share and this event should give us a fantastic chance to reflect on our experiences and look forward to the future, in very conducive surroundings’.

Rayner Receives FDA Approval for RayOne Spheric Monofocal IOL

May 2021

Rayner has received FDA approval for the RayOne Spheric fully-preloaded monofocal IOL. The approval marks Rayner’s third FDA approval in under 3 years within its RayOne preloaded IOL portfolio. RayOne Spheric joins RayOne Aspheric (FDA approved December 2018) and RayOne EMV, a new non-diffractive IOL solution which achieved FDA approval on March 26, 2021.

RayOne Spheric is positioned as a cost-effective monofocal IOL solution and benefits from the same fully preloaded injector as its siblings, according to a company news release. The RayOne injector requires only two steps to prepare (load OVD and close the wings) and is compatible with sub 2.2 mm incisions.

All three FDA-approved RayOne IOLs are based upon the same hydrophilic acrylic platform, which offers superb stability (0.08 mm mean decentration at 3-6 months1), low PCO (1.7% at 24 months2), and high-quality vision with a high Abbe value (563) and low refractive index (1.463), according to Rayner.

RayOne Spheric expands the RayOne portfolio in the United States as an economical option relative to RayOne Aspheric and RayOne EMV, and is a cost-effective solution for patients who want a modern, high-quality monofocal IOL.

“Rayner strives to offer superior patient outcomes for all patients, and as a cost-effective solution, RayOne Spheric ensures that all US surgeons and patients can access the highest quality IOLs,” Tim Clover, Rayner CEO, said in a company news release. “This third FDA approval in less than 3 years supports our continued efforts to grow our available portfolio in the United States, which is a key strategic focus for Rayner.”

Patient outcomes for all RayOne IOLs can be tracked using RayPRO, a free contactless telehealth solution that collects three years’ worth of patient reported outcomes after cataract or refractive surgery.

MIRAGE Green Challenge: The commitment of the Italian eyewear manufacturer for a sustainable world

May 2021

In progress the procedure for the UNI EN ISO 14001:15 certification for attesting the requirements of the environmental management system.

Mirage Green Challenge
Investments in advanced equipment and in energy efficient processes that contribute to a more sustainable use of resources and with a reduced impact on the environment; continuous research and development of new raw materials to produce sustainable, recycled and recyclable sunglasses; training of the personnel for a more ethical behavior at work: Mirage Occhiali has been designing and producing premium injected sunglasses for over 40 years and has been, for some time, an enterprise culture that promotes and supports sustainability.

A behaviour that anticipated the time, when 7 years ago the company chose to invest in the first totally electric machinery, reducing the consumption of polluting factors such as oil preferring renewable sources like electricity.

Today, 33% of the injection machines are in fact completely electric, with a 98.7% of saving in crude oils compared to the traditional manufacturing equipment.

The molds themselves are cooled with a free cooling system or with chillers that use air to cool down the temperature in place of traditional refrigerators. Moreover, a solar panel system allows Mirage to produce the 50% of the energy needs, while the rest of the energy comes from 100% renewable sources.

“We have been adopting a green behavior for a while because being sensitive to ethical and environmental themes is innate for us” – Cristiano Milone, Mirage CEO, declares – “One year ago we decided to start the procedure for the UNI EN ISO 14001:15 while recently we activated a project for verifying the carbon footprint of the whole manufacturing cycle; the results of this research will be available at the end of the year. At the same time, we select the business partners we choose to work with, preferring the ones that share our same values”.

Among the various steps that Mirage is taking for a greener business management, there are fully electric internal means of transportation, 100% LED lights, metal water bottles supply to all employees and electric cooling and heating system.

Born in the ‘60s as an assembling workshop, after a decade Mirage started producing injected frames purchasing the first machinery. Since then, they have been growing the expertise and know-how that is leading the company to introduce itself today as one of the most advanced organizations in the injection molding frames manufacturing.

British label EYE RESPECT, part of The GLBL Eyewear Group, expands distribution into Europe

May 2021

Eye Respect The British heritage-style independent label EYE RESPECT, created by Jonathan van Blerk in 2010 is expanding distribution of its ophthalmic and sunglasses collection to opticians across Europe. Until now, the label has focused mainly on the UK market and its vast celebrity clientele.

The brand’s new focus is on the European territories – and particularly Scandinavia, France, Italy and Spain – is part of a new re-structuring of its sales force at the company since it joined The GLBL Eyewear Group in 2020. The brand is also proud to have established a new HQ in Monaco, on the French Riviera, giving instant access to mainland Europe.

The EYE RESPECT collection continues to do well in the UK. We have a good number of strong accounts across the country, who have been fans from day 1,” says Jonathan Van Blerk, Founder of EYE RESPECT and The GLBL Eyewear Group. “It’s only natural that we should therefore extend the availability of this line to eyecare practitioners across Europe. The quality to price ratio has always been a huge factor for the success of this easy-to-wear and timeless range and we believe that the combination of honest and affordable pricing and attention to quality in each product will ensure that we can drive sales and leverage new opportunities going forward.”



EYE RESPECT: SS21 collection


Laboratoire Thea buys The Eye Bag Designed in Monaco and made in Italy, EYE RESPECT’s SS21 collection is defined by classic heritage shapes with universal appeal. The collection offers 5 timeless acetate models, each available in 5 colorways.

The colour palette is desirable and refined and includes trendy Crystal, Black Gloss, ever-popular Havana, classic Tortoiseshell as well as bright tones of Ink Blue. All the frames have been designed for optical or sun lenses.

Made for each other….Laboratoires Théa acquire The EyeBag® Brand

May 2021

Laboratoires Théa – a French family-owned pharmaceutical company, specialising in eye care around the world are delighted to announce that they have acquired The EyeBag® brand.

Laboratoire Thea buys The Eye Bag

The MGDRx EyeBag®, was launched 16 years ago by Prof. Teifi James, a consultant ophthalmologist, as a natural, effective treatment for dry eye, MGD, blepharitis and the symptoms associated with these conditions. It has been widely adopted by eye care professionals in the UK and fits perfectly into the range of products offered by Théa. “We are taking this new and exciting direction with Théa which will be good for our customers, our people, and the eye care sector,” commented Teifi James, MD, The EyeBag Co Ltd.

“This is an exciting addition to the Théa portfolio,” said Philip Lewis Williams, MD of Théa UK. “We have worked closely with Prof. James for a number of years, starting with the development of the Théa Dry Eye Project. The MGDRx EyeBag® is the missing piece in Théa’s Dry Eye and MGD portfolio. We are delighted that we can now offer a full range of products to patients and practitioners alike looking for a complete treatment of their Dry Eye. The products were simply made for each other.”

Laboratoires Théa’s research and development in the latest pharmacological treatments combined with its distribution network covering more than 70 countries, provides an ideal platform to introduce The EyeBag® to a global audience.




Whilst distribution transitions into the Théa network over the coming months, the product will continue to be available through your normal distributor or direct from the EyeBag sales team in Halifax.

Théa UK will inform all customers when the transition is complete and the MGDRx EyeBag® is available to be ordered through their own distribution channels.

CooperVision announced its acquisition of No7 Contact Lenses.

April 2021

The company will operate within the CooperVision Specialty EyeCare Group.

“No7 Contact Lenses has been our partner for several years in the UK while expanding its business,” said Juan Carlos Aragón, president of CooperVision Specialty EyeCare.

“The acquisition will enable us to directly offer more of our products through No7’s well-established channels, while expanding access to their designs. In tandem, the agreement should further accelerate the development of myopia management solutions in the UK.”

Ashley Pepper, managing director of No7 Contact Lenses, said: “We have great respect for CooperVision and have enjoyed a strong working relationship with its specialty eyecare team.

“Today’s news will help us have an even greater impact on the eyecare professionals who prescribe our contact lenses, and the adults and children whose vision and lives are made better because of them.”

No7 customers have been advised to continue to work with their current representatives and follow established ordering and support processes.

Essilor Group to complete acquisition of Lenstec

April 2021

The Essilor Group in the UK have announced their intention to complete the acquisition of the remainder of the Lenstec Optical Group shareholding from owners Nigel Castle and Gerard Donovan. The Essilor Group had acquired a minority shareholding through Shamir in 2016.

Olivier Chupin, Essilor’s VP North Europe commented, “We are pleased to reinforce our partnership with Lenstec which will allow us to improve access to the Essilor Group’s wide range of product offering to British consumers. The successful relationship that the Essilor Group enjoyed over the past years with the team at Lenstec has illustrated the relevancy of further combining Essilor’s technologies and know-how with the wealth of expertise and strong heritage of Lenstec. This addition presents us with a number of opportunities, across a broad range of market segments especially Key Accounts.”

Lenstec’s Managing Director, Nigel Castle, commented, “We are excited to continue our journey within the Group. The partnership with Essilor and Shamir allows us to both strengthen and extend our products and service offering to our valued customers, whilst retaining the same customer intimacy, service and solutions our customers have come to expect.”

Lenstec operates from three sites across the UK and enjoyed a turnover of £22m* in 2019.

The deal is expected to close during 2021 pending approval from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom.

New milestone for the Eye Doctor

April 2021

The Eye Doctor receiving Queens Award
A patent has been granted for Sterileyes, an antibacterial shield on the Eye Doctor hot and cold compresses used to treat dry eye, Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and blepharitis.

The Sterileyes solution is clinically proven to reduce bacteria by 99.9% and is bound to the fibres of the fabrics in the compress. Sterileyes also provides stain protection and eliminates the germs which create odour.



The granting of the patent is a major milestone for The Body Doctor, the family-run business behind the Eye Doctor range and comes after the company won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2016. The patent follows years of research and development with three independent laboratories.

“We have been pursuing the patent for five years for the UK and around the world as there are many false claims surrounding bacteria on compresses,” explained Managing Director of The Body Doctor, Sue Grant.

“We are led to believe that heating a compress in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions will eliminate all bacteria, but this is false. It is also believed that if the compress filling has antibacterial properties, bacteria will not survive on the cover applied to the eyes which is also wrong. In addition, most compresses now offer hot and cold usage and, of course, no bacteria at all are killed when used cold.

The Eye Doctor Optical Barnding “After a long, arduous expensive journey through trials and testing, we feel our concerns for patients that are recommended a compress laden with bacteria have been borne out, particularly in this new world where people are more aware than ever of the risks of transference of bacteria and viruses.

“Several years ago, at great expense, we undertook the challenge of providing the safest, cleanest, and most cost-effective treatment available for patients suffering with MGD, blepharitis and dry eye disease. We are delighted that this journey has concluded with the grant of our patent to do just that.”

Contrary to popular belief not all bacteria on masks are killed in the microwave and millions more bacteria can be transferred from the eyes and face onto the eye compress during treatment. Increasing levels of bacteria on the compress may create the opportunity for cross-infection.

Ophthalmologist Dr Colin Parsloe explained: “Biofilm is a sticky protective substance that bacteria use to protect themselves from natural defence mechanisms and antibiotics. This protective biofilm can be found along the skin and base of the eyelashes of patients with anterior blepharitis and dry eye disease. These bacteria become more virulent and produce exotoxins including lipase which aggravates dry eye disease.

“I do have grave concerns about patients continuing to use contaminated hot compresses. Sterileyes is a breakthrough product and introduces a new paradigm shift we all must make in managing our dry eye patients.”

The Eye Doctor range is branded differently for the optical sector and the company offers practices the option to own brand at no additional cost. The company also provides the opportunity for a more favourable recommended retail price to optical patients.

The Eye Doctor range is distributed to the optical profession by Positive Impact.

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 today.www.osa-uk.co.uk

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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