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A Tipping Point for Your Older Patients

A short three years ago, many eyecare professionals were wondering if the wave of new digital technology and rise of social media would "possibly" pertain to them, their practices and their patients. We started CLICK with the believe that the "possible" was indeed "probable" and we hoped that an e-newsletter designed to help ECPs and optical retailers learn more about the online realm and how to stay connected with their patients would be an essential business tool.

Today, as we report in this edition, more than half of senior adults – adults over the age of 65 – are now online, most more than once a day, and over one-third of them are regular users of such social media tools as Facebook and Twitter. That is a core group of the vision care population, who are now, along with middle-aged adults and their children, using online resources to learn about, make decisions about and share information about vision care and eyewear.

We also want to ask you to watch for our next edition of CLICK, June 27, when we will launch a new design and format to help you benefit even more from the healthy archive of stories, experiences and tools that we cover – all of which are available to you and your staff now, but which will even be easier to access with our new VisionMonday/CLICK format. Keep an eye out.

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a successful social media campaign? Tell us about that and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.—The Editors





More Than Half of Older Adults Are Online

NEW YORK—For the first time, as of April 2012, 53 percent of American adults ages 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.

The latest trends, which hold major implications for eye care professionals catering to a more mature patient base, are based on research from The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world.

Overall, according to Pew's latest study, 82 percent of all American adults ages 18 and older say they use the internet or email at least occasionally, and 67 percent do so on a typical day. For most online seniors, internet use is a daily fixture in their lives. Among internet users ages 65 and older, 70 percent use the internet on a typical day. (Overall, 82 percent of all adult internet users go online on an average day.)

After age 75, internet and broadband use drops off significantly and is much less prevalent among members of the "G.I. Generation" (adults who are currently ages 76 and older) than among other age groups. As of April 2012, internet adoption among this group has only reached 34 percent, while home broadband use has inched up to 21 percent.

Seven in ten seniors own a cell phone, up from 57 percent two years ago. Even among those currently ages 76 and older, 56 percent report owning a cell phone of some kind, up from 47 percent of this generation in 2010.

One in three online seniors uses social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and social networking in general has grown significantly. From April 2009 to May 2011, for instance, social networking site use among internet users ages 65 and older grew 150 percent, from 13 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2011. As of February 2012, one third (34 percent) of internet users ages 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18 percent do so on a typical day. Among all adult internet users, 66 percent use social networking sites (including 86 percent of those ages 18-29), with 48 percent of adult internet users making use of these sites on a typical day.

By comparison, email use continues to be the bedrock of online communications for seniors. As of August 2011, 86 percent of internet users ages 65 and older use email, with 48 percent doing so on a typical day. Among all adult internet users, 91 percent use email, with 59 percent doing so on a typical day. These findings largely echo other recent research examining older adults' use of technology. Once they are given the tools and training needed to start using the internet, they become fervent users of the technology, Pew researchers point out.



100 Years + Digital: Carl Zeiss Vision Marks Centennial and Launches Online Vision Screening

SAN DIEGO—As part of the company's ongoing celebration of a century of ZEISS eyeglasses, Carl Zeiss Vision has launched an online vision screening tool that can help consumers identify uncorrected vision problems, and encourages them to visit an eye doctor.

The online vision screening takes just a few minutes to complete. First, the user is asked to calibrate the screen to assure the best results. This is followed by brief tests of visual acuity, contrast and color perception screening. At the end of each test, the user is told if his or her results suggest a need for an eye exam. The screening tool also includes a link that allows consumers to find a ZEISS eye care practice in their area. The tool is available online here.

"The main focus of our 100 Years of Vision campaign has been to raise consumer awareness of vision needs, and the options they have for vision correction," said Joe Donahoe, president of Carl Zeiss Vision – North America. "Through influential bloggers, newspapers and consumer-focused websites, we have been letting people know that they have options when purchasing eyewear, and choosing the right lenses will make a difference in the quality of their vision."

Carl Zeiss Vision offers advanced customized lenses and advanced performance coatings, including PhotoFusion self-tinting lenses, i.Scription by ZEISS diagnostic technology and a national laboratory network.

"The primary purpose of the online vision screening is to encourage consumers to make an appointment with an eye doctor," Donahoe said. He cited a survey conducted by Carl Zeiss Vision in which 29 percent of U.S. respondents reported problems while reading, and 44 percent rated their night vision as satisfactory or below. Additionally, about 48 percent have an eye examination less frequently than every two years. "There are a lot of people who may need eyeglasses but don't have them, and many others who have eyeglasses that probably don't reflect their current vision needs. If we can motivate more people to get an eye exam, the online screening tool will be a success."



Vision problems affect 25 million Americans, and are on the rise. To support this growing community, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation have launched, a free, easy-to-use informational website for adults with vision loss, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, and social service professionals. The new VisionAware combines two stand-alone resources from AFB and Partners for Sight (Senior Site and the former VisionAware, respectively) into a single, comprehensive website offering dynamic social networking and customized guidance for adults of all ages with rich content and practical tips on living with vision loss. The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. Since 1955, Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (PFS) has been a vital source of support on local, regional and national levels for the blind and visually impaired. Visitors to the new VisionAware will find: Free, practical tips and resources for adults with vision loss, their families, friends, caregivers, and related professionals; information on eye diseases and disorders; different ways to connect, including message boards and social media channels like Twitter and Facebook; breaking news on the latest developments in vision loss treatment via the VisionAware blog, and directories of helpful services, products, and resources


EyeMed has launched a mobile version of its member website to provide members with even greater convenience. Within EyeMed's network of eye care professionals, both independent and retail, many offer evening and weekend hours. Independent studies have shown that many consumers prefer to utilize their vision benefits on evening and weekends, EyeMed said, pointing out that the enhanced mobile website, provides EyeMed's patient members access to vision care benefit information self-service tools that are available anytime and anywhere using their mobile device. Members can access the site by visiting using their iPhone, Android, Blackberry or similar mobile device, whether at work, at home or on the road. The EyeMed mobile site gives members the ability to view benefits, including vision exam copays, eyewear allowances, eligibility, the last date of service, and the next date they can use their exam and glasses or contact lens benefits. It lets members locate providers near their current location, a street address or zip code with access to point-to-point directions via Google Maps mapping service. Members can view their identification card and can use the mobile site to access "Help" tools such as frequently asked questions and contact information for further assistance.


For the fashionistas in your life – and your optical boutique or dispensary – tell them about, a site which shows you 'real time' color trend information about what colors people are wearing in such cities as Milan, Paris and Antwerp. Pimkie, a fashion retailer, runs this site. It's based on a special software program that films various points in these fashion capitols and then translates that into a program that identifies the frequencies/visibilities of certain colors. The site features current, and past color trends.


The WayBackMachine

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, it provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages. The site offers a blog (Web Archiving at and the site itself covers a staggering array of information, from nature and science and current events to geography and culture.

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