Vision Monday Leadership Summit spotlights technology innovation to increase access to eye care

Vision Monday hosted their annual Leadership Summit in New York, on the eve of one of the eye care industry’s major meetings, Vision Expo East. Under the theme “Insight, Unseen: How Leaders Uncover, Design, and Scale Innovations,” participants explored the frontiers of technology and care innovation, expanded the boundaries of what’s possible, and showed how to break traditional barriers to care. 

Gary Chu, OD, VP of professional affairs at the New England College of Optometry (NECO) and Susy Yu, OD, Director of Business Strategy and Operations Support, Vision Essentials by Kaiser Permanente, discussed the unmet need nationally and globally for eye care. 

“As clinicians, optometrists are taught to focus on the one patient in their chair, and those clinical decisions should be made in the best interest of that individual patient,”  said Dr Yu. “But as a health care system, our view is at a population level. We have to worry about the patients that are not in the chair…about the millions of people in the United States, and billions around the world, who live without the vision correction they need.” Innovative technologies, she said, can help eyecare professionals think about better care delivery: “We want to engage [our patients] and have more connection points, and technology helps us do that.”

“We can’t be afraid to step outside the box, try things, and learn along the way… we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” said Dr Chu, who leads the NECO Industry Collaborative and the NECO Innovation Center. “Disruptive innovations give us the opportunity to expand and deepen our impact in ways we desperately need right now.”  

Dr Yu and Dr Chu cited PlenOptika’s QuickSee, a handheld autorefractor, as an example of such innovation. Designed to deliver clinical-quality performance anywhere, it enables eye care professionals to make vision care more accessible to more people. 

Shivang Dave, PlenOptika CEO and collaborator with Dr Yu and Dr Chu in eye care innovation initiatives, was excited about the day’s discussions. “Access and impact are critical issues for the industry, and we can see their growing momentum here today,” he said. “These have been close to our hearts at PlenOptika since our founding ten years ago, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to dialogue with all the leaders and stakeholders at this summit.” 

Early in the summit, Dr John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer for WebMD, set the tone with the observation that the emerging health consumer experience prioritizes connectivity, convenience, data control, and cost efficiency.

Speakers covered topics affecting the eye care industry as diverse as the rising myopia crisis and AI. Social purpose initiatives, calls for collaborative action, and accessibility strategies featured strongly, showing the industry’s embrace of the challenges to expand and improve access to high quality vision care.

 About PlenOptika

PlenOptika designs and produces tools to help vision professionals perform their best care anywhere. Inspired to solve the global burden of poor vision, we developed QuickSee™, the world’s most accurate handheld autorefractor. Vision professionals and NGOs have used QuickSee on over 3 million patients in more than 45 countries to transform their lives with clear vision.a