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.
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
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
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.