LAB: VSP Lab, Columbus, Ohio
Swen Carlson

Lab director


“Making digital lenses is something of a jump in the curve of the trajectory of how lenses have been evolving. It’s being recognized not just as a little tweak, but as a significant jump in technology. Our customers are very interest and actually seek us out more than in the past. They want to learn what digital is all about and how they can benefit from it.

“Our preferred method of educating customers is to have them visit the lab. We strongly encourage it, and we offer to be flexible and come in on weekends. If we can get them out on the floor and walk them through the process where they can see inside the generator chamber how we’re actually grinding lens, and using a fine-point diamond lathe to shape the interior surface of lens, it really strikes a chord. They see much less equipment is involved in digital versus conventional processing, especially the difference between using aluminum lap tools and soft tools. Even the less technical customers get it. We describe how the information we input into the calculation software determines how were going to grind lenses, as well as information like vertex, pantoscopic tilt and facial wrap.

“For those that can’t come to the lab, our sales force uses iPads to demonstrate the technology. We’re developing applications to tell our story better, such as a step by step photo collage. We’ll be adding video, too. Their time is so tight in the office, but this makes for a pleasant, fast education.”

Steven Curtis
OD, Riverview Eye Associates, Columbus, Ohio


“I consider the lab an extension of my practice. I trust them. And I earn the trust of my patients by providing the things they expect. When it comes to lenses, they expect accuracy and efficiency as well as value. If they perceive they’re receiving that, they’ll keep coming back.

“VSP Labs is providing me with a lens [VSP’s Unity PLx digital progressive] that provides accuracy, efficiency and this ‘wow’ factor of better optics. I’m wearing them now, and I’m really pleased with the optics, the clarity. I’m getting the high definition vision I thought was hogwash when I first heard about it. I can’t wait for some patients who are critical observers to try it. We’re practicing in an area of where we get a lot of technologically savvy and curious patients. We’re close to Ohio State University and some industries. Some patients want to know more than I know about product, they eat it up. We have to be on the edge or ahead of the edge to maintain our reputation.

“We’ve really only embraced digital lenses in the past few months, but I think we’re going to see exponential growth. About 30 percent of my progressive lens wearers are now wearing digital, but that will probably go up to 50 percent by end of the year.”