PREMIUM PRACTICE TODAY: Smart Telephone Behavior

PREMIUM-PRACTICE-TODAY-Smart-telephone-Behavior

Press 1 if you think patients should receive prompt, personal attention when they call your practice.

Every day, eye surgeons and practice administrators intent on expanding their share of the premium IOL market make critical decisions about website development, social networking strategies, and search engine optimization tactics. The common element in all of these relatively recent communication initiatives is the tried-and-true telephone…

 

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CLEO 2012 (Optical Society of America)

May 9, 2012 (San Jose, CA)

Speaking | “Femtosecond Technology Comes of Age in Ophthalmology”

During the past decade, the femtosecond laser has emerged to become widely used in refractive surgery.  This process began with LASIK and now continues with cataract surgery, the two most widely performed surgical procedures (elective surgery and traditional surgery, respectively) in the US and likely worldwide.  This talk will review the history of commercialization of this technology.

Panel Description:

The introduction of femtosecond lasers to improve vision has revolutionized refractive correction. At first, the laser was only being used to create the flap for LASIK.  However, present systems cut the flap and perform the refractive correction. The most exciting development this year is the FDA approval of femtosecond lasers capable in aiding the treatment of cataracts, which requires much deeper incisions. This session will host the pioneers that have made these advances possible, discuss needed technological improvements and provide a sense of future innovations.

More details at: Cleoconference.org

 

In The Media:

[learn_more caption=” City Recognizes CLEO Conference For Major Economic Benefit To San Jose”]

Conference will generate over $15.5 million in visitor spending through 2014

3 May, 2012 23:58 CET | NEWS RELEASE

SAN JOSE, CA (May 3, 2012) –The City of San Jose is declaring May 7-13 “CLEO: 2012 Week” in recognition of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) show. The convention brings a welcomed annual $5.2 million shot in the arm for the local economy. CLEO will return to San Jose in 2013 and 2014 attracting approximately 5,000 attendees annually, which Team San Jose estimates will generate 20,417 room nights, 15,000 visitors to San Jose and $15.5M visitor spending over three years…

CLEO: 2012 will deliver exclusive programming for attendees, including 146 presentations from

California researchers, presenters and companies including:

  • Steven DenBaars of the University of California, Santa Barbara is a featured keynote speaker at the Plenary Session Tuesday, May 8.
  • Eli Yablonovitch and Owen Miller of the University of California, Berkeley, will present their work on a new record for solar cell efficiency Friday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. See: “The Solar Cell that Also Shines: Luminescent ‘LED-type’ Design Breaks Efficiency Record, Illuminates 50-Year Mystery.”
  • Yuji Zhao of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center at the University of California Santa Barbara will present on “Conquering LED Efficiency Droops: Overcoming Mysterious Phenomenon Could Lead to Affordable LED Lighting,” Thursday, May 10 at 5 p.m.
  • Shareef Mahdavi of SM2 Strategic in Pleasanton, Calif. will speak at the Market Focus program on Tuesday, May 8 on the history and commercialization of femtosecond lasers for ophthalmology applications.
  • Mark Kasevich of Stanford University will be a keynote speaker at the Technology Transfer Program on Thursday, May 10, where he will address the evolution of atom de Broglie wave interferometers, which are used in geodesy, security, and navigation. Aydogan Ozcan of UCLA will also speak at the Technology Transfer Program on telemedicine applications.
  • Stanford University’s Robert Byer, Joseph Goodman, Steven Harris, James Harris, Thomas M. Baer, and Caltech’s Amnon Yariv will be presenting on Sunday, May 6 at the Anthony E. Siegman Memorial Symposium and Reception.
  • CLEO will feature other speakers from California universities and companies, including the Stanford PULSE Institute, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, Caltech, Alcatel-Lucent, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
  • Participating California exhibitors in the CLEO: Expo Technology Playground include BNC Scientific, Calmar Laser, Coherent, CVI Melles Griot, Newport Corp., and more.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/Ki2MZl [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”CLEO:2012: Femto is fierce for cataract surgery”] May 8, 2012 10:18 PM by Lee Mather — At CLEO:2012, happening this week in San Jose, CA, one of the show’s Market Focus talks focused on the future offemtosecond lasers in cataract surgery, led by moderator Marcos Dantus (BioPhotonic Solutions; MI), whose company’sfemtoAdaptiv femtosecond laser won this year’s CLEO/Laser Focus World Innovation Award; Arturo Chayet, MD, of the Codet Vision Institute (Mexico)–the first to ever perform all-laser LASIK surgery; Wayne Knox of the University of Rochester (NY); and Shareef Mahdavi of SM2 Strategic (CA).

Mahdavi stated in his portion of the talk that out of the 70% of procedures that use lasers, 30-40% use femtosecond lasers. As of 12/31/11, 46 of these lasers have been installed in the U.S., with more than 50% of them being used in the clinical space–a pretty powerful statistic to prove that this technology is becoming more and more accessible. What’s more, 92% of those who use it recommend it, says Mahdavi.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/KMLFkK [/learn_more]

 


Book Shareef Mahdavi To Speak

Groupon for Surgery: A Bad Idea

Like many of you, I get a daily Groupon e-mail and will often take a look and see what special deal is being offered.   I admit to being intrigued by the upcoming Tomato Battle taking place in my town next weekend (modeled after the annual rite in Bunyol, Spain), but I’ll leave it up to a few thousand others to enjoy that event.

 

While I have serious reservations about the longevity of the business model (which were confirmed by Groupon’s recent financial reporting), this type of offering has struck a nerve with deal-seeking consumers whose spending patterns have been permanently altered by the economic battering of the past few years.  For consumers, Groupon (and its cousins on Living Social, Schwaggle and the hundreds of other deal sites) can be an enticing way to try or buy something for the first time.

 

For providers – and I am speaking directly to those of you who market your services – Groupon can be a risky proposition for the business.  There are countless examples in the media of the restaurant or bakery being overwhelmed by Groupon redeemers.  They simply didn’t have or plan capacity to meet demand.   In some ways, that’s a high quality problem for a business owner.     And for providers of annuity-type, non-surgical medical services, such as facial aesthetics (eg, Botox, teeth whitening), enticing a first-timer with a good deal makes sense.   What I am concerned for are those services that are in the “once-in-a-lifetime” category, such as LASIK.

 

Grouponing LASIK is a bad idea for one simple reason: No opportunity for repeat business!   You’ve given away the farm to someone who will only pay you one time.  And if it’s word-of-mouth you are hoping for, you need to recognize that what you are doing is stimulating consumers to talk about the great deal they got on LASIK instead of talking about the miraculous improvement in their vision.

 

I could dive right in to economic principles to support my assertion, but choose to limit them to their punch lines:

 

Don’t treat LASIK like a commoditized good.  There’s no “supply” of LASIK that risks becoming obsolete on the shelf  (such as last season’s trendy sweater) or spoiled (like those gourmet cupcakes).

 

Discounts don’t work to increase demand for LASIK.   Historical trends over 15 years demonstrate an inelasticity of demand, as decreasing prices have correlated with decreasing demand for the procedure.

For  a “one time” procedure, all a discount does is lure a person who has been actively considering the procedure; he or she would eventually have a sufficient trigger and pay the going rate.  The LASIK example illustrates how providers mistakenly believe they can attract the much larger market of spectacle and contact lens wearers; history has shown they aren’t motivated by low price.

 

My view is that demand for LASIK is going to improve steadily over the next few years.  See my commentary “Is LASIK Dead?” to learn more.  (Thank You Note: I’m gratified to see this was the most widely read article in the August 2011 issue of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today).

 

Doing a few hundred extra LASIK cases at half the price does little to boost the bottom line.   But it does a lot of damage to the long-term pricing integrity of that provider and continues to foster the myth that LASIK is a commodity and can be had for cheap.

 

In short, leave the grouponing to repeat-visit offerings where the goal is to stimulate a trial or sample purchase, and don’t undermine your long-term brand or market position by using groupon as a promotional tactic.  The risk of backfire is much higher than any possible short-term reward.

PREMIUM PRACTICE TODAY: Here Comesthe Sun

PREMIUM-PRACTICE-TODAY-Here-Comes-the-Sun

To help you prepare for the coming rebound, this month’s issue discusses how to market your premium practice.

Summarizing the last 24 months in song would be quite the contest. BJ Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” would be vying for a spot with Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” as the most appropriate song for the industry’s economic blues…

 

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A Survey of Consumer Demand for Premium Cataract Surgery

A Survey of Consumer Demand for Premium Cataract Surgery

Since their introduction five years ago, presbyopia-correcting IOLs have created a new category within cataract surgery. The combination of greater visual functionality with the ability to charge an additional fee for the implantation of these lenses has given ophthalmology a new premium-level offering to consumers who are considering cataract surgery…

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