Are You a Roadblock to Technology?

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Technology is like a rock rolling down a long steep hill--it picks up speed the longer and farther it rolls. Look at the technology of recorded music. Back in 1877, Edison made the first recording of the human voice, leading to the invention of the phonograph record, which dominated in its various forms for over 75 years.

Christie Walker

Following in successively faster and faster progression, came cassette players, CDs and iPods. The latter caught on almost instantly and in less than four years was already replacing the CD player.

The same thing can be seen in the optical industry. Technology started out slow and steady and has been picking up speed ever since. New lens designs, materials and coatings come to the market almost every quarter and yet you still find practitioners prescribing bifocals in hard resin with no AR coating.

Today's consumers don't think twice about upgrading their music system to an iPod for $300, or spending thousands of dollars on a high definition TV, and yet somehow they are walking around in low-tech eyewear. Why?

The lens companies are spending millions in R&D to bring the latest and greatest technology to the market. So the technology is definitely out there. Optical labs present this new technology to their accounts in a variety of ways and provide them with training, demos and marketing materials to present the technology to the end user, the patient.

But oftentimes this is where the flow of information stops and never makes it to its final destination--the consumer. Why would a consumer who wants the best in their music system not want the best for their visual system? Ask yourself this? Do you offer every patient who walks in your door the best that technology can provide--the best materials, the best design, and the best coatings--for their visual needs? Or are you a roadblock to technology, worried the patient won't be able to grasp the technical complexities or will object to the price?

I'll bet you the majority of iPod owners don't have the slightest idea how the thing works. They just want 5,000 songs at their fingertips and they're willing to pay for it. Same with eyewear consumers - they don't want to know the technological details of how a progressive lens or an AR coating works, they just want to have the best vision possible, and I bet they would pay for that as well.