Michele Andrews, OD encourages us to “think beyond the lens” and approach innovation in a customer-centric environment.
Cara Moore: Hi everyone and welcome to Optometry TV. Thanks for being here. I’m Cara Moore joined now by Dr. Michele Andrews with CooperVision. Thank you for being here.
Dr. Michele Andrews: Thank you for having me.
Cara Moore: So we are talking about thinking beyond the product and what does that really mean for practitioners?
Dr. Michele Andrews: You know, I’m with CooperVision and so when we talk about innovation, the first place people go to is contact lens products. What are your products, what’s new in the pipeline? And while we have great products, we also know that practitioners are looking for what’s beyond the lens, how’s Cooper Vision going to help them grow their practice, be successful in this dynamic marketplace?
Cara Moore: So how do you really approach innovation in such a customer-centric environment?
Dr. Michele Andrews: Yeah, so one of the programs that we’re very proud of is a program called best practices. We recognize that there’s a lot of practitioners out there who are really doing amazing things. They’re really thriving in this environment in spite of things that people think are disruptive or challenging. And so we have a program that allows us to identify 10 practices every year. We bring them together. And one of the most amazing things is to see the ideas that come out of that group. They end up staying together for I think, their careers and finding that group as an innovative think tank of likeminded people to help grow the practice and really help elevate the industry.
Cara Moore: Collaboration is important in any industry.
Dr. Michele Andrews: It is. And when you get these doctors together and they realize that while they come from all different backgrounds and their practices are very different, the one thing they have in common is we want to be better. We want to grow and we want our brand to succeed. And they pick and choose different elements of things that they learn. And just keep coming back for more. It’s really a great opportunity.
Cara Moore: So not only is collaboration important, but I would imagine technology is a part of this too.
Dr. Michele Andrews: Yeah. So it’s inevitable that we’re going to talk about technology. A couple of things that we’re doing at CooperVision that seem to be really resonating with our practitioners. The first is that we have some tools to help them fit lenses better. One of the products we brought into the marketplace last year is an App called Opti Expert and this is an App that has multifocal and Toric calculators in it. And so this helps doctors get to that right lens faster so that they can have confidence in what they’re prescribing and knowing that their patients will be satisfied with as few visits as possible. And practitioners are also leveraging that technology for their staff to help in the contact lens fitting process. We also have technology that helps practices stay in touch with their patients. So we have a Prime Nexus Platform that allows texts, communication to practices and Lens Fairy that allows product shipment to patients when they want it. So all kinds of ways technology can help the practice, with fitting, but also just allowing, allowing the practice to stay in touch with their patients.
Cara Moore: Now you got to keep up with the time, people want everything now.
Dr. Michele Andrews: You have to. People it on their phone, they want it on their App and so you can use that in the practice but also as a way to stay in touch too.
Cara Moore: And how important is the legislative advocacy part of all of this?
Dr. Michele Andrews: I’ll tell you more now than ever legislative advocacy is really, really important and focusing on that is important because when we talk about technology and we talk about all the ways that technology is going to influence the profession, that can all be very positive, but optometry needs a seat at the table. We need a seat at the table to make sure that the doctor/patient relationship is protected and all of the things that are important around that prescribing dynamic in that relationship is respected, so the patients get the best product and the best outcome. So that can help happen at a Federal level. It can happen at a State level and it also is as simple as making sure that we’re educating our patients and our customers about what’s important for them and what the role of optometry is in their overall eye health.
Cara Moore: Let’s talk about education briefly. There is also an educational aspect to all of this.
Dr. Michele Andrews: Yeah. We’ve got to be thinking about the future. And so optometry students are a big part of what we do at CooperVision. We want to make sure that we’re reaching out to them early in their careers. In fact, we provide travel grants for a number of contact lens residents to attend Academy here this week and to showcase their papers and posters in the work that we’re doing. And just to expose them to the broader industry and to network. So they’re getting off to a really great start.
Cara Moore: Alright. A lot of important points.
Dr. Michele Andrews: Absolutely.
Cara Moore: I appreciate your time Dr. Andrews.
Dr. Michele Andrews: Again, thanks for having me.
Cara Moore: Thanks for being here. Thanks for watching Optometry TV.