Volk is starting a new series of “Eye Examiner” posts, getting the thoughts of physicians on the state of vision care, best practices and favorite Volk products. Our first post features Alex Levit BSc (Hons) FCOptom (CL CVP)of Barnard Levit Optometrists (www.barnardlevit.co.uk/), a fellow of the College of Optometrists specializing in contact lenses and children’s visual problems. In addition to patient care, research and lecturing duties, he has developed a unique contact lens design and fitting system for Keratoconus (ALK™system) and provides optometric expert medico-legal and consulting services to contact lens manufacturers. Below, he shares his thoughts on the Volk Eye Check.
How has the Volk Eye Check’s Contact Lens (CL) Mode changed the way you conduct a contact lens examination?
The Volk Eye Check provides essential information which streamlines the decision-making process in the contact lens fitting process.
My ability to communicate the information provided by the Volk Eye Check report directly to the manufacturer optimizes the process by which custom contact lenses are ordered, designed, manufactured and supplied.
I’m therefore able to devote more time to the physical eye examination, and, based on the information in the VEC report, discuss with patients the most appropriate options for them. Patients become an integral part in the decision-making process.
What measurements does Volk Eye Check’s CL mode provide that you cannot acquire through traditional CL exam approaches? Which measurements are most important to you?
All measurements provided by the Volk Eye Check may in principle be acquired by one method or another; the problem is that the acquisition of these measurements is very time-consuming. Additionally, it is a well-known fact that subjective measurements are inherently inaccurate and suffer from not only inter-practitioner, but also intra-practitioner, variability.
As the Volk Eye Check is deskilled enough to be performed by clinical assistants, there is no burden on professional time and all the measurements are objective and highly repeatable.
Regarding the importance of measurements, all measurements are important for different uses. For example horizontal visible iris diameter (HVID) and corneal SAG are key measurement for all types of contact lens fitting considerations and calculations. Pupil metrics are essential for the design of the contact lens optical power profile in rigid and soft multifocal lenses. Eyelid position is important in rigid gas permeable translating multifocal lens design and fitting.
Volk Eye Check’s Best Fit Analysis feature produces a customized report of all of the possible standard and specialty CLs available for each patient. Why is this feature important to you and how has it helped you fit CLs better?
Almost 30% of eyes would benefit from custom-made contact lenses, the Best Fit Analysis identifies these eyes and in this respect it is not only an invaluable time-saving tool but also an aid in quality decision-making, which improves fitting outcomes.
When fitting standard contact lenses, it is good to know that these lenses are appropriate in eyes with standard measurements. It is also good to know when these lenses might not perform optimally so that patients can be informed in advance.
In custom lens fitting, the provision of all the row data and information to contact lens manufacturers enables them to design and manufacture contact lenses which are truly customized to patient’s eyes, delivering outstanding results with minimal time demands through trial and error.
How has the CL mode for Volk Eye Check impacted the bottom line of your practice?
The considerable time saving has a direct effect on the bottom line. The fitting and supply of specialty products has substantial economic benefits due to increased profitability from specialty products sales, patient’s loyalty, practice buildup through recommendations, and reduced loss of market share to the nonprofessional entities such as Internet providers.
Have you experienced a positive change in the dropout rate of CL patients after using Volk Eye Check?
I personally did not have a chance to audit dropout rates since using the Volk Eye Check, but it is clear that this technology improves the quality of contact lens practice from the clinical perspective, which must have a beneficial effect on dropout rates.
It is also important to point out that patient’s participation in the decision-making process during their contact lens experience has enormous benefits as patients better understand and appreciate the intricacy and complexity of contact lens practice and are empowered to become an integral part of this process.
EXPERT: Alex Levit, BSc (Hons) FCOptom (CL CVP)
ADDRESS: Zamenhof House, 58 Clifton Gardens, London NW11 7EL