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Brooke Beery is Associate Editor of Optometry Times®.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic shutters optometric practices, a number of companies are doing their part to support doctors, patients and others impacted by the coronavirus health crisis. With more than 531,000 global confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) as of March 27, the novel coronavirus is a fast-evolving danger to public health.
Related: Can azithromycin treat COVID-19?
Eyecare professionals are looking for up-to-date, reliable information to direct their methods of patient care.
Here is a list of companies that are offering resources to ODs.
A virtual optometric conference which allows ODs to earn up to 60 COPE-approved CE credits from leading eyecare experts without leaving home.
Resource: All CE credits will now vaild for live COPE credits, plus $30 reduced registration price, including access to all courses (both live and on demand) and the virtual exhibit hall with exclusive vendor discounts.
ESight Eyewear provides electronic glasses for individuals living with legal blindness.
Resource: An online community for people with low vision to access COVID-19 related resources, connect with each other, and share inspirational stories. https://esighteyewear.com/
The partnership between Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland) and Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry has created a new online learning resource allowing optometrists and eyecare technicians to complete certified training about the importance of nutrition to eye health at their desk or using a mobile device.
Resource: MacuLearn is an e-course website about eye health and ocular nutrition. Technicians can take the course to become certified. http://maculearn.com/
Zeiss MED support now
Zeiss focuses on ophthalmology, ophthalmic surgery, and visualization systems in microsurgery.
Resource: Free slit lamp breath shields through the Zeiss donation program and access to virtual CE programs at https://www.zeiss.com/meditec/int/resource-center/clinical-insights.html.
ImprismRx and Doxy.me
ImprimisRx announced an exclusive agreement with Doxy.me to provide healthcare professionals with telemedicine services.
Resource: Doxy.me will be provided to ophthalmology, optometry, and wellness practices at no charge. https://doxy.me/
Eyeschool.ca is an accredited peer-to-peer learning website with programs for eyecare professionals. It can be accessed by computer, tablet, and smartphone devices.
Resource: COPE -approved CE programs for optometrists, opticians, and certified optometric assistants.
LiquidEHR is offering free telehealth services to all optometrists nationwide, which will support increased demand for virtual care.
Resource: Sign up for free: https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/wTVmCBBy2yC0Ow7i6EKgh?domain=liquidehr.com
Topcon Healthcare is offering all of its slit lamp customers a free breath shield that fits onto their instruments and provides a first-line of defense for patients and providers.
Resource: To register to receive the Topcon breath shield: http://bit.ly/2x8aVlk
Walman has created an information and resource helpline intended to help independent eyecare practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts are ready to help with:
• Where to start with staffing resources and payroll
• Extended payment terms and programs with Walman Businesses
• Templates and resources for rental and landlord communications
• What to know about government assistance and where you practice can start
Resource: To utilize this free service, visit walmanoptical.com.
Laser Eye Centers
LEC is providing free live CE webinars Friday, April 3, 2020. Each live lecture is worth one hour of COPE approved learning credit.
Resource: Those interested can register at the following link: https://bit.ly/2UXgpYs
CooperVision has taken measures to help support eyecare practitioners and contact lens wearers during the pandemic. Some of the new measures being taken include:
• Continued manufacturing and shipping
• Free shipping for direct-to-patient orders
• Modified consumer rebate policies
• Extended payment terms
• E-commerce contact lens services
• Supporting patient education with information on their website and social channels
• A customer-facing team
Resource: Visit CooperVision.com to learn more about any of these offerings.
AAO and ASCO
With the COVID-19 crisis in full swing, American Academy of Optometry and Schools and Colleges of Optometry have established an unprecedented virtual clinical training program to keep optometry students on graduation track. The Academy and its board members are working with ASCO and the deans and faculty of optometric schools and colleges to develop an online experience that will continue students’ clinical education.
Resource: For additional information on the Student Online Clinical Case Education Program, click here:www.aaopt.org/soccep.
MyDoc and First Medicine Corporation
MyDoc is partnering with First Medicine Corporation to provide free access to telemedicine solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic for the next 90 days in the United States.
New England College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry (NECO, Massachusetts Society of Optometrists (MSO) and Boston Eye Group/ Boston Laser have launched a series of talks titled "Conversations about COVID-19 for eye care professionals" to help Doctors of Optometry prepare for the coming months when offices will again be able to provide hands-on patient care.
Resource: Participants may register and join the conversation every Tuesday evening from 7:30-8:30 pm for the remainder of the month at the following link here.
Novartis is strengthening its self-service sample website, providing patients easier access to telemedicine/telehealth services, including virtual eye consultations, and connecting those facing financial hardship to the Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.
TissueTech is conducting live virtual professional education webinars throughout April, May and June. Webinar topics include the treatment of ocular surface diseases and indications including corneal ulcers and mechanical dry eye.
Resource: The full list of events and topics can be found at the following link: https://www.biotissue.com/events.