Hear from CooperVision's Michele Andrews, OD, on the latest innovations and expansions in the pipeline.
Michele Andrews, OD, vice president of professional and government affairs of CooperVision, sat down with Optometry Times' editor Kassi Jackson to share a company pipeline update.
Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Kassi Jackson, Editor:
Hi, everyone. I'm sitting down with Dr Michelle Andrews, who is Vice President of Professional and Government Affairs of CooperVision, and she's here to talk about the exciting things they have coming down the pipe this year. So welcome, Dr Andrews.
Michele Andrews, OD:
Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.
To kick it off, can you tell us a bit about what's coming up for CooperVision.
So, we are really excited about our 1 day innovation at Coopervision.
This past year, we launched MyDay Energys, which is a perfect blend of consumer need with a product that delivers both material and design advancements. This really redefines comfort in a technology driven world. Late last year, we expanded our MyDay toric range. So now the MyDay toric parameters match that of the biofinity toric core parameters.
And, of course, both products have optimized toric lens geometry. That's the technology that doctors love that enables that lens to just settle into place and stay in place. So, when we think about 1 day innovation, we think the MyDay family portfolio, sphere, Energys, toric, and multifocal.
We're also really excited about our manufacturing expansion. Here in Scottsville, New York, we are now manufacturing Biofinity toric multifocal. So this really brings you an opportunity to have faster delivery times on a product that is so helpful for so many of your patients who are wearing those toric lenses, and are aging into presbyopia and don't want to don't want to give up their contact lenses.
We've also expanded our West Henrietta distribution facility. This will serve doctors across the US. As the industry moves toward more single use lenses, obviously, we need more space to be able to get those products to you as quickly as possible.
So as we look into 2024, you can expect more news about product advancements, you can also expect more news about programs and other things that we're going to do to help the doctors enhance their patient experience.
How can all of this help optometrist enhance their patient care and really take it to the next level?
Doctors want products that perform, and they want it to be simple to use those products. So when we think about a single use lens, [it's] super easy to prescribe, super easy for patients to wear. We also have tools like OptiExpert, a fitting tool, [where] the doctor can just plug the patient's spectacle prescription into the OptiExpert, and it will provide the fast first lens choice for your wear. So not only do we have a great product, but these tools enable a super easy fit. I think that is really what doctors have to look forward to.
Absolutely. What does that mean for patient care, then, on the other side of that?
So patients don't want to spend any more time in the doctor's office either, right? They want to come in, get the best products, be fit very efficiently, and have a great wearing experience. So being able to be more efficient with fitting, getting the patient into the right product as quickly as possible, and something they can wear easily definitely improves the patient experience as well.
So [to] switch gears a bit. CooperVision also has its Best Practices Program. So can you share with us some highlights from this year and looking ahead to 2024?
For sure. So our Best Practices Program is now in its 9th year. We started this program way back in 2015, as a way to identify and recognize practices throughout the US that are doing really incredible things to grow their practices, and invest in their own patient experience. So every year, doctors have the opportunity to apply to be a best practices honoree.
The application process for this year is now open through November. Later this fall, we have a panel of judges that are both past Best Practices honorees, as well as others from the industry who select the 10 best practices. They'll be announced in early 2024, and then they'll come together for a summit next spring.
Then we'll spend the rest of the year telling their stories and how they do it, and all the things that they do in their practice to really thrive. In addition to recognizing practicing ECPs in the best practices program, we also have an opportunity for students to get involved.
We have created a Best Practices Student Scholarship, where 3rd year students can apply to be a student scholar. We'll select three of them and they'll join the honorees at the Best Practices Summit. It's just a really great opportunity for students to meet practitioners that are doing some really great things. It's just a great collaboration and mentorship, and gives everyone an opportunity to learn from each other
That's amazing. Can you share with us any of your favorite innovations and best practices from this year from the honorees.
So the honorees from 2023, they're always a special group. What amazes me the most is the connection that they form so quickly, and how they lean into each other to learn how they can improve their own practices.
So as you can expect, we had a lot of discussion this past year around myopia management, around innovation, around the aging population, and how we can support those patients in our practices. In fact, one of our honorees from last year came from the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. So, such a unique way of providing care, and it was something that most of our honorees have not dug deeply into.
It was a really great opportunity to hear about continued ways to support our aging population. We really had the whole lifetime of care conversation, right? So, the young people going into myopia management, and our patients who need, perhaps, low vision and adaptive technologies as they age.
[Thats] amazing, definitely full circle. Is there anything else you'd like to highlight from that program or what's coming up for CooperVision?
So, applications, you can apply on our website. Just go to CooperVision.com on the practitioner page, and you can submit your application there. There's also some tips on there to tell you how to submit the most successful application possible. So, we look forward to seeing your applications there soon.
Dr Andrews, thank you for your time today.