How a Nifty Nashville Startup is Rocking the Cataract Surgery Patient Experience

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The cataract surgery patient experience in many practices is broken. Couple this with a commercial process that asks a person to make a high-value decision at the same time they learn they need surgery and you may agree that something must change. What’s great is a Nashville start-up, Surgiorithm, is just what doctor’s need! How did we get here? Ophthalmology practices are busy places. Future demographic trends for patients and doctors indicate this will only get worse. Reimbursement for cataract surgery is declining and no data shows this getting better. In fact, if you’re the wagering type, put your money … Read More

How Avagard Dented the Medical Device Rep World

On October 2, 2001, the selling world of the medical device took a dent. 3M Company received FDA approval of Avagard® and surgeons stopped scrubbing their hands at sinks outside of Operating Rooms. At the time, I was a medical device rep selling Intraocular Lens Implants (IOLs) and the action was at the scrub sink. Gaining Position and Seeking Influence An ophthalmologist once told me that the first scrub of the morning reminded him of when he played hockey and was getting ready in the locker room for the game. Mentally he’s going through his plan, thinking about potential obstacles … Read More

Will Private Equity’s Bull-Rush Into Ophthalmology Drive Growth?

Bull Rushing with man hanging on.

Will private equity’s bull-rush into ophthalmology drive growth? Dick Lindstrom, MD addresses this notion in a podcast he did with Tom Salemi from OIS. Stated investment reasons by doctors (MDs) are access to capital and business expertise. Profit growth, cost reduction, and services aggregation are success drivers for private equity (PE) that I’ve heard. Will these two forces play well together today and in the future? To create growing enterprise value, I believe PE and their MD partners will wrestle seven market forces. These trends tie back to the increasing commercial cast to Ophthalmology. In the new order, some MDs … Read More

Will Millennials, LASIK and Cataract Surgery Technology Influence Ophthalmology?

Seven trends may provide the answer to the question, “Will Millennials, LASIK and Cataract surgery technology influence Ophthalmology?” These emerging beliefs, commercial strategies and technologies portend an environment rich with opportunity for those who adapt and frustrating for those who do not. Millennials – Providers and Patients Four millennial children in my family make me acutely aware of the traits exhibited by this age demographic. Much is written about the trends, possibilities and pitfalls arising from this group’s coming-of-age. For ophthalmology, Millennials are a conundrum because they are both provider and patient. They think, work and act differently than most of … Read More

Why Cataract Surgery and No LASIK?

Early in my business career in Ophthalmology, I was observing a lot of cataract surgery and the field of Refractive Surgery was gaining traction with Radial Keratotomy (RK). A crude procedure when compared to today’s all laser method to performing LASIK. I worked for Storz Instrument Company and it was the Fall of 1992. Storz was a surgical instrument company who was the market leader in surgical instruments for cataract surgery and also sold tools for performing RK. One fine day while discussing cataract instruments with a surgeon, I asked him, “Are you a Refractive Surgeon, too?” He looked at … Read More

While Doctors Debate, Patients Decide…

“While Doctors debate, patients decide” is a quote from Ophthalmologist, Charles Kelman, MD. Dr. Kelman is the inventor of the machine that is still used today by ophthalmic surgeons to remove the cloudy crystalline lens during cataract surgery. Dr. Kelman was a flamboyant person who is claimed to have uttered the quip, “While doctors debate, patient decide” when pressed for the benefits of a yet clinically perfected and peer reviewed literature supported technology. Go here to read more about the Charles Kelman, MD story. This post is not about Charles Kelman. It is a story that I hope my ophthalmic surgeon … Read More

Are ‘creative destruction’ and ‘entitlement thinking’ an enemy of ‘art’ in ophthalmology?

The field of ophthalmology is in the midst of tremendous change. Hyper-evolving technology, a veritable tsunami of patient demand for services with increasing expectations, a significant consumer element added to the physician patient relationship and an uncertain reimbursement environment work together to create a landscape that is ripe for creative destruction. ‘Creative Destruction’ is a phrase introduced by Joseph Schumpeter in his work entitled “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” (1942) to denote a “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Creative destruction happens when something new … Read More

#MELiveAustin Inaugural Event a Success

Starting anything from scratch is difficult. It always costs twice as much and takes double the expected time. The thought of bootstrapping a new meeting in the field of ophthalmology pretty much blows my mind. The past weekend, in Austin, Texas, a group of like-minded ophthalmic surgeons, industry personnel and Bryn-Mawr Communications got together to produce the first annual Millennial Eye Meeting, #MELiveAustin. The results of these collective contributions yielded what, to me, felt like a meeting that will be around for a long time and will continue to grow. The goal of the meeting was to create a forum … Read More

What Drives People to Change?

In my experience, people change for their own reasons. For the most part, there are three primary reasons for why people make a change. While these three reasons may be different, they are not mutually exclusive. Change is forced upon them by a competitor. Change is created by an internal desire to achieve an outcome. Change is required due to obsolescence. This past week I had the pleasure of spending the week with a Sightpath Sales Representative traveling in his territory and visiting with both current and prospective clients. Our clients are eye surgeons and their related facilities. I’ve written … Read More

Laser Cataract Surgery – A Tsunami to Ophthalmology?

Laser assisted cataract surgery (LACS) was introduced to ophthalmology in 2010 with the FDA approval of the LenSx 550 femtosecond laser. At that time, LenSx was a privately held company and today it is owned by Alcon, the largest eye care company in the world. The Market Today there are nearly 400 femtosecond lasers for cataract surgery placed in the United States. Alcon leads this market with an eye-popping estimated 70% share and this should come as no surprise given their dominance in the industry. The term “placed” in the United States is what may prove to be the gradual, … Read More