WE ARE 34% TOWARDS OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL AND WE NEED ALL THE SUPPORT WE CAN GET
WorldSightDay 2021 is run by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). Founded in 1975, they were set up to provide a global voice, aiming to ensure eyecare services are accessible to everyone.
IAPB developed World Sight Day in order to bring the importance of eye health into the global picture. They are also on a mission to help vision loss in lower-income countries.
Vision Executives are undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in order to raise money for three charities: ANDEAN MEDICAL MISSION, Himalayan Cataract Project and Sight For All. These charities seek to improve eye healthcare services in lower-income countries, supporting IAPB’s aim to help vision loss in such countries.
If you would like to help us raise funds for these charities this World Sight Day, and to know more about the charities, please read our article and follow the link to our JustGiving page in the comments.
After IDx received the first FDA approval for their Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled software programme in 2018, AI in optometry is becoming common place. Heru have announced that the visual field results from its innovative vision diagnostics and augmentation leader are very similar to those of ZEISS Humphrey Field Analyser (HFA), following a study of 47 eyes – 21 healthy and 26 with glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmic diseases. Mohamed Abou Shousha, MD and CEO of Heru has suggested that “eye care professionals can trust the results”.
In 2019 I wrote an article on future-proofing ophthalmology. One of the break-through stories I wrote about was the OCT scans of the back of the eye used by Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, working with Google’s DeepMind project. The OTC scans are currently being used to detect geographic atrophy (GA) using a common eye scan. GA impacts more than 5 million people worldwide; it is difficult to detect in the early stages and there’s currently no effective treatment, however it is hoped Moorfield’s algorithm developments with change this.
I commented on how ‘AI is merely giving physicians more tools to better cope with the problems that accompany a rapidly aging and expanding population’, a statement which is still true today, proven by the advancements of both Hulu and HFA.
Ref: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210922005339/en/Study-Shows-Heru%E2%80%99s-Automated-Visual-Field-Testing-Platform-Delivers-Strong-Correlation-to-Humphrey-Field-Analyzer https://www.aop.org.uk/ot/science-and-vision/technology/2019/06/28/beautiful-mind https://www.digitalhealth.net/2021/09/moorfields-develops-in-house-algorithm-to-help-detect-geographic-atrophy/
A new treatment is emerging for patients with Presbyopia in the form of therapeutic drops. Presbyopia is the gradual loss of the eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. According to Jennifer Loh , M.D., the goal of any Presbyopia treatment is to increase a patient’s ability to focus on nearby objects without affecting their distance vision. Presbyopia is an age-related change. The emergence of drops as an alternative to reading glasses or contact lenses, is exciting news for patients.
Ocuphire Pharma have developed a potential eye drop treatment called Nyxol which has completed its VEGA-1 Phase 2 clinical trial. “We are excited to develop Nyxol with low-dose pilocarpine as a potential option for the growing number of presbyopic patients” Mina Sooch, MBA, President and CEO of Ocuphire Pharma.
Visus Therapeutics, Inc. announced their FDA acceptance of their Presbyopia-Correcting eye drop Brimochol. The eye drop has the potential to last at least 8 hours, “We are excited to begin dosing patients in the Phase 2 clinical study, which we believe will validate Brimochol as a well-tolerated solution that meets patients’ desire for a long-lasting near vision treatment option.” Ben Bergo, co-founder and CEO of Visus.
Allergan, an AbbVie company, announced positive outcomes for it Phase 3 study of their treatment for presbyopia. The Phase 3 clinical study did not exhibit any loss of distance vision and sustained visual gains for as long as 6 hours. “Building upon our heritage in eye care, we are proud to be leading the development of a first-of-its-kind potential treatment option for those living with presbyopia.” Michael Robinson, former vice president and global therapeutic area head of eye care for AbbVie.
Earlier this year, Eyenovia Inc. announced their positive top-line results from VISION-1 Phase 3 clinical study for MicroLine. The study showed a three-line or more improvement in distance corrected near visual acuity in a large proportion of subjects. 70% of participants reported strong interest in using MicroLine, should it be approved. “We are extremely pleased at the success of our VISION-1 study, marking another major milestone for our Micro-Array Print platform technology,” stated Sean Ianchulev MD MPH, CEO and CMO of Eyenovia.
ORASIS PHARMACEUTICALS eye drop to treat presbyopia is in Phase 3 clinical trials. CSF-1 is a preservative free solution which aims for the optimal balance between efficacy, safety and comfort with the potential to improve near vision in people with presbyopia. Clinical trial results to date have demonstrated significant improvements in near vision and a superior safety profile, supporting potential quality of life improvement in people with presbyopia.
These drops are an exciting development for patients with Presbyopia and we will be keeping an eye out for future updates.
Ref: https://www.healio.com/news/ophthalmology/20210908/specialist-details-features-of-successful-presbyopia-drop https://www.ophthalmologytimes.com/view/expectations-are-on-rise-for-presbyopia-correcting-therapeutic
This World Sight Day, Vision Executives are undergoing a fundraising event for three vision loss charities. One of these charities is Andean Medical Mission, who recognise the extreme poverty and lack of eye health care in Bolivia.
Our gruelling Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge will pale in comparison to the travelling Andean Medical Mission do, sometimes for 3-4 days, to reach the incredibly remote Andean villages they intend to administer treatment in.
Training up Bolivian doctors, using the funds we intend to raise, will make treatment in these villages easier. Dave Goldsmith explained that currently “there are 15 ophthalmologists per million population”. Andean Medical Mission intend to bring a focus to this lack of eye health care in such a poverty-stricken country.
To find out more about the charities we hope to raise money for this World Sight Day, please read our article and consider donating via our JustGiving page.
In Canada, it is thought that there is a greater pay gap between genders in the ophthalmology sector than in any other speciality group. Data accumulated by Felfeli and colleagues found that between 1992 and 2018, male ophthalmologists in Ontario generally received a 17% higher income than female ophthalmologists.
“The trends identified suggest that female ophthalmologists are comparatively productive to male ophthalmologists, but despite this, disparity in median payments for female ophthalmologists exists and is more prominent than in any other specialty groups” Felfeli and co explained.
In the US and the UK, the trend is similar. A survey from 684 US Ophthalmologists in 2020 suggested that women are paid 10.6% lower than their male counterparts. Suggestions for why this extend from women being less likely to negotiate their wage, to men being in more higher paying roles.
The Pay Gap for Women in Medicine and Academic Medicine, details data from 1,160 doctors including Ophthalmologists. It reported that Ophthalmology specialists in the UK have the second largest gender pay gap than other speciality groups at 30%. This is taking into account factors such as maternity leave, fewer years of experience and less chances to get high profile roles, yet the disparity between male and female wages are still high.
So the data suggests there is a gender pay gap on the clinical side of Ophthalmology but how about for all the companies that manufacture medical devices & pharma which supply the Ophthalmologists?
Vision Executives Three Peaks Challenge, in aid of World Sight Day, is a particularly suitable fundraising effort to raise money for one of our three chosen charities: Himalayan Cataract Project.
One of the founding members, Dr Geoffrey Tabin, is a passionate mountain climber and has summitted Mount Everest when he witnessed a Dutch medical team perform a life changing cataract surgery in a Nepalese village on a woman who had been blind for several years. Her blindness was preventative, and this inspired Dr Tabin to become an ophthalmologist so that he could make a difference.
Mojo Vision have announced their progress on a tiny AR display they are embedding in their contact lenses. This will provide a digital layer of information that will be superimposed on what you’ll really see.
The lenses will have a hexagonal display – a ‘femtoprojector’ – which will expand the imagery optically and beam it to a central patch of the retina.
These new lenses contain a lot of electronics, including a camera to capture the outside world, a computer chip to process imagery and controls the display, whilst also wirelessly communicating to external devices.
Chief Technology Officer, Mike Wiemer, said "We have got this almost working. It's very, very close". The prototypes have passed toxicology tests and Mojo Vision have the hope that a fully featured prototype will be available later this year.
If this succeeds, Mojo Vision will help people with vision problems, as well as helping others such as athletes track their fitness statistics. It is going to be very interesting to see how this innovative product develops.
Walk for World sight day
Globally, 2.2 billion people live with some form of vision impairment – 1 billion of these could be prevented. World Sight Day, which was first held in 2000 as part of the Lions Club International Foundation’s campaign SightFirst, was created with the aim to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.
Vision Executives was founded with the intention of becoming one of the world’s leading eyecare recruitment providers. One of founding principles is to ‘provide more than just recruitment services and contribute positively to the community which makes this industry great’. That is why this World Sight Day, 14th October, we are undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in our ‘Walk for World Sight Day’ event. This challenge involves walking 24 miles up three mountains, with an ascent of 5200ft, in under 12 hours. We intend to donate the money to worthy #eyecare charities, but there are so many, we struggled to choose! Cue my LinkedIn network of over 5000 eyecare professionals. I asked them for suggestions and I received an incredible number of recommendations.
We would like to thank everyone who nominated a charity, we considered every one of them. As there were so many, we wanted created a shortlist of a few smaller organisations to raise money for but also awareness of their tireless work to improve vision around the world.
3 charities in particular stood out to us: Andean Medical Mission nominated by Martin Rescorle, Himalayan Cataract Project nominated by Koray Alpaslan and Sight For All nominated by Shane Hage.
If you would like to donate to our Walk for World Sight Day event and the charities we are raising money for please visit our JustGiving page.
We reached out to all of these charities to find out how they are tackling the problem of global vision loss. I also spoke to Nick Parker, from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to understand the global strategy in the fight against preventable blindness.
James Pickering is our Managing Director and an eye care recruitment expert who has developed an extensive client base and candidate network. He regularly writes articles about industry developments and has received numerous recommendations from industry leaders. You can also connect with James on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest eye care news.