Andrew Karp

Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology

Andrew has reported on many facets of the optical industry for Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine since 1987. He specializes in covering the latest developments in ophthalmic dispensing, spectacle lenses and treatments, lens processing technology, optical laboratories and wearable technology. Andrew contributes daily briefings to VMAIL LaunchPad, that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He also helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

From Processing ‘Scripts’ to Reading Scripts: How 3 Ex Optical Lab Owners Found Success in the Film Biz

By Andrew Karp
Friday, January 8, 2021 8:30 AM It’s a plotline straight out of the movies. Three former optical wholesale lab owners leave behind the daily grind of making prescription eyewear to become producers of independent films featuring Alec Baldwin, Marisa Tomei and other big name stars. Like the legal disclaimer seen at the start of many movies, this story is based on actual events. In fact, the main characters—Michael J. Rothstein, formerly Hirsch Optical in New York, Mike Palkovicz, formerly of I-See Optical Lab in New Jersey and Greg Ruden, formerly of Expert Optics in Illinois—are real people who are well-known to many in optical. How they landed their dream job is the true story of three middle-aged guys who each sold their successful family business, invested in an indie production company, took a leap into the unknown and landed on their feet.

Welcome to VM’s Lab Report

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 6:30 PM Optical laboratories have always been an important part of Vision Monday’s editorial coverage. Over the years, we celebrated and elevated labs because they are the backbone of the optical industry, providing support for eyecare professionals and optical retailers while serving as an essential link in the optical supply chain. Our original research and in-depth reports spotlight the accomplishments of the companies and individuals who contribute to the growth of this vital sector of our industry

Problem Solved: The Case of the Shape Shifting Frame

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 6:28 PM McLeod Optical discovered that the shape of a frame tracing did not stay the same when the demo lens was removed from the tracer. “The frames would lose their shape when demos were removed,” said Scott MacLeod, president of the Warwick, Rhode Island-based lab. “The b measurement would become smaller and the a measurement would increase. This would affect the first time fit at edging and the cosmetics of the job would be off, causing customer complaints.”

Mojo Vision’s Mike Wiemer Sees the Future Through Smart Contact Lenses

By Andrew Karp
Friday, December 11, 2020 11:16 AM This week, wearable technology company Mojo Vision announced that it is collaborating with contact lens maker Menicon to develop smart contact lens products. The move marks an important step forward for the California-based company, which for the past three years has been developing the Mojo Lens, a sensor-enabled contact lens that can give the wearer augmented reality viewing capability. To date, the only smart, sensor-enabled contact lenses on the market is the Sensimed Triggerfish, which provides an automated recording of continuous ocular dimensional change over 24 hours and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Read More

Mojo Vision’s Mike Wiemer Sees the Future Through Smart Contact Lenses

By Andrew Karp
Friday, December 11, 2020 11:13 AM This week, wearable technology company Mojo Vision announced that it is collaborating with contact lens maker Menicon to develop smart contact lens products. The move marks an important step forward for the California-based company, which for the past three years has been developing the Mojo Lens, a sensor-enabled contact lens that can give the wearer augmented reality viewing capability. To date, the only smart, sensor-enabled contact lenses on the market is the Sensimed Triggerfish, which provides an automated recording of continuous ocular dimensional change over 24 hours and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016.

The Birth of a Bifocal Lament

By Andrew Karp
Friday, November 13, 2020 1:19 PM Writing parody songs is a tricky business. Lots of folks try their hand at it, but it’s harder than it seems. Unless you’re Weird Al Yankovic, who has made a career of taking hit songs and transforming them into something totally different, with often hilarious results, you’d better be darn clever and have a deft way with a rhyme if you’re going to mess with someone’s perfectly good song in the hopes of making them laugh. Otherwise, the result can be laughable for all the wrong reasons. Writing an optical parody song is even trickier. The subject matter is much more limited, and so is the audience that can appreciate such esoterica.

At Your Service

By Andrew Karp / Group Editor, Lenses & Technology and Jeff Hopkins / Contributing Editor
Monday, November 2, 2020 12:30 AM In the first days of the coronavirus pandemic, as states and municipalities began issuing shutdown orders, optical retailers and optometric practices across the country went into shock. With many offices closed and eyeglass shipments disrupted, the situation was chaotic. “When everyone literally had the rug pulled out from under them, no previous systems you had in place were going to be helpful when you’re winging it,” recalled optician Ruth Domber, who co-owns 10/10 Optics, a popular optical boutique and optometric practice in New York City.

Optical Labs, ECPs and the True Meaning of Partnership

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 12:00 AM Partnership is one of the most overused words in business communications these days. It seems like nearly every new vendor-customer relationship, distribution deal or joint sales promotion is touted as a “partnership.”

First-of-Its-Kind Artificial Vision System Moves to Clinical Trials

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 1:50 PM With millions of people worldwide who are blind or suffering from sight-robbing diseases, and millions more expected to lose their vision over the next few years, a growing number of private companies and research institutes are working to develop bionic eyes, artificial vision systems and advanced visual prostheses. One of the newest projects is being undertaken by Illinois Institute of Technology. Researchers there were recently awarded $2.5 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the first year of a three-year project which involves clinical trials of a first-of-its-kind wireless visual prosthesis system which aims to provide some limited vision to people with profound blindness. Read More

First-of-Its-Kind Artificial Vision System Moves to Clinical Trials

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:47 PM With millions of people worldwide who are blind or suffering from sight-robbing diseases, and millions more expected to lose their vision over the next few years, a growing number of private companies and research institutes are working to develop bionic eyes, artificial vision systems and advanced visual prostheses. One of the newest projects is being undertaken by Illinois Institute of Technology. Researchers there were recently awarded $2.5 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the first year of a three-year project which involves clinical trials of a first-of-its-kind wireless visual prosthesis system which aims to provide some limited vision to people with profound blindness.

Celebrating a Pioneering Black Physician and His Remarkable Journey

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 21, 2020 11:07 AM New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) held a socially distant dedication ceremony on August 13 for Dr. David Kearny McDonogh, a pioneering Black physician who fought racial injustice in the 19th century to become the country’s first Black ophthalmology and otolaryngology specialist. Dr. McDonogh practiced at NYEE for more than a decade.

As We Age, Seeing Red May Be a Good Thing

By Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:33 AM Researchers at University College London have given new meaning to the term “seeing red.” Rather than using it to describe someone who is angry, the UCL scientists have conducted a study that found that staring at a deep red light for three minutes a day can significantly improve declining eyesight. The study is the first of its kind performed with humans. Scientists believe the discovery, published in the Journals of Gerontology, could signal the dawn of new affordable home-based eye therapies, helping the millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.

Making the Leap into Telehealth

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:40 AM Many optometrists began using ocular telehealth this spring, when the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent shutdowns of optometric practices and optical retail stores cut them off from seeing patients in person. We spoke with several optometrists who are new to telehealth about what their experience has been like. They report that remote consultations via a mobile app have proved to be an effective means of providing at least a basic level of care.

ECP Groups Support Members’ Access to Telehealth Solutions

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:39 AM NEW YORK—With interest in telehealth on the rise across eyecare, several ECP alliances and buying groups have taken steps to help their independent OD members gain access to telehealth technologies and/or training resources. Among the groups providing such services to members are Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA), Professional Eye Care Associates of America (PECAA), ABB Optical Group and the California Optometric Association (COA), among others.

Retailers Find Telehealth Options Improve the Patient Experience

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:38 AM NEW YORK—With the spread of COVID-19, just about every aspect of life has been affected for U.S. consumers and patients, and health care ranks high among the part of life under transformation. One significant change is that today both patients and providers are asking themselves what “services” need to be in the office and what services can absolutely be done outside the office via video conference or other means of interacting with the patient.