Eyeworld

DEC 2012

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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48 EW MEETING REPORTER Reporting live from AAO/APAO 2012, Chicago December 2012 News highlights from AAO in Chicago Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 Despite only stable spending and some concerns about raising capital, the biotech industry has had its best year since 1999, according to one of the organizers of the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS), which was held Thursday preceding the joint meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO-APAO). Funding ophthalmic ventures has become ���survival of the fittest,��� said Emmett T. Cunningham Jr., M.D., founder and chairman, OIS; partner, Clarus Ventures LLC, Cambridge, Mass. ���The best companies will make it out, be able to go public,��� he said. Some exciting advances to watch include minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) and presbyopic inlays, Dr. Cunningham said. ���Innovation is being rewarded��� Twelve CEOs and one chief technology officer (CTO) from the private device industry presented overviews of their companies and products in the device showcase. Thomas Frinzi, CEO, WaveTec Vision Systems Inc., Aliso Viejo, Calif., touted the benefits of the ORA system, an intraoperative guidance tool, with more than 255,000 procedures performed to help improve outcomes in cataract surgery. Using the ORA results in a ���two times fewer chance of having to enhance the patient,��� he said. ���We���re getting consistent and accurate results.��� Mr. Frinzi, speaking to the room of ophthalmologists, companies, and investors, said it is a great time to be in ophthalmology. ���Innovation is being rewarded,��� he said. Editors��� note: This Meeting Reporter contains original reporting by the EyeWorld news team from AAO/APAO 2012, Chicago. Jean-Marc Wismer, CEO, Sensimed Triggerfish, a Swiss company, said a failure in therapy and diagnosis spurred the Triggerfish innovation, which constantly tracks changes in IOP over time. ���It���s a new language we have to decipher,��� he said. ���The patterns are very intuitive and open the way to preventive medicine.��� Ed Peterson, president and CEO, Acufocus, Irvine, Calif., was one of three presenters who spoke about presbyopic solutions. He shared his personal experience with the KAMRA inlay, which he had implanted six years ago. ���Personally, I know it works,��� he said. Mr. Peterson said 2.1 billion people will have presbyopia by 2020. ���Many of these patients are going to need a number of treatments,��� he said. ���This company and two others are creating a new market for ophthalmology.��� Word of mouth about the innovation is key, Mr. Peterson continued. ���Presbyopes will tell their friends,��� he said. Healthcare and ophthalmic needs collide with innovations in technology This is the first year the Ophthalmic Innovation Summit (OIS) has included tech companies in the lineup. Michelle Snyder, InterWest Partners, Menlo Park, Calif., described the current atmosphere as a ���digital health perfect storm.��� With rising healthcare costs, unhealthiness of the population, estimations for an increased number of health patients and consumer focus, Ms. Snyder said now is a unique time for technologies to come into play. ���We���re seeing a rise in digital health funding,��� she said. In the last 3 years, the funding has doubled, she said, and this year, it���s expected to be $1.4 billion. ���We don���t need more data, we just need to make it more actionable,��� Ms. Snyder said. One of the biggest problems for consumers is that they often simply do not have the information they need. The goal is to remedy this so View this video at www.EWrePlay.org/ AAO2012 Jim Mazzo, president, Abbott Medical Optics, discusses how the presidential election will affect the ophthalmic industry. The industry needs to stay engaged in the political process, he urged, especially as budget cuts go into effect.

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