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 edits VMail Technology, a weekly e-newsletter that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

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.

Adjusting to the New Normal: How Ocular Telehealth Can Help

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:36 AM As eyecare practices and optical retail stores across the country cautiously reopen and in-person appointments slowly resume, ECPs and their staffs are adjusting to new routines. Among the challenges they face are implementing procedures for social distancing, maintaining sanitary conditions and creating a more efficient workflow that accommodates the changing needs of both doctors and patients. We spoke with executives at some of the leading telehealth companies to find out how their systems and products can help practitioners and patients navigate the new normal.

Payers See Longer-Term Role for Telehealth in Eyecare

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:35 AM NEW YORK—Managed vision care plans, across the board, are reporting greater interest and demand for telehealth options from both patients and providers. As ODs began using ocular telehealth more frequently in March as COVID-19 spread, there were also mounting questions and concerns among ECPs about how these new telehealth technologies would fit in with the policies of managed vision plans.

Direct-To-Consumers: DIY Eye Tests

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:33 AM The boom in online retail sales and other direct to consumer services that began in mid-March has been one of many business success stories to result from COVID-19, and online vision testing is no exception. D2C vision care companies, including those offering online vision testing and personal vision tracking devices report that they have been doing brisk business lately, although actual sales figures can’t be confirmed. But even before COVID-19, D2C vision care companies say business was thriving.

Envisioning the Future of Ocular Telehealth

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:32 AM Now that ocular telehealth’s long-term viability has been established, the question becomes: how can it continue to elevate the patient experience? The wide range of responses from optometrists and ocular telehealth executives points to a future in which virtual vision will integrate with conventional eyecare to satisfy patient needs and create new opportunities for practice and business growth.

Virtual Vision Care Grows Up

By Andrew Karp and Mark Tosh
Monday, June 22, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Ocular telehealth is trending hot these days, kicked into high gear by the coronavirus pandemic. More eye doctors and optical retailers than ever report they are now using telehealth to deliver virtual vision care, including many first-time users seeking to connect with patients who had been in lockdown.

Looking Through Some Very Special Vintage Opera Glasses

By Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology
Thursday, June 18, 2020 7:26 AM The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center is one of the jewels in New York’s cultural crown. You’d think that, as a native New Yorker, I would have availed myself of this treasure by now. But I’ve never set foot in the place. I suppose that’s because my taste in music runs toward jazz, blues and country. Yet friends tell me that the sheer spectacle of grand opera is worth the price of admission, even if the singing, however brilliant, is not my thing. So the Met is on my bucket list. When I finally get there, I’ll be prepared to take it all in. I’ve got a pair of opera glasses, a very good pair, in fact.

The Fog Is Starting to Lift

By Andrew Karp
Friday, May 15, 2020 11:13 AM The other day I was rummaging around in my desk drawer searching for Cat Crap. Before you say, “Yecch,” let me explain. Cat Crap—an attention-getting brand name if there ever was one—is a wax-like product that you apply to eyeglass lenses to prevent them from fogging up. My glasses tend to fog up when I put on my face mask and venture outside, a problem many of us are encountering since the pandemic began.

Telehealth Will Remain Vital, Post-Pandemic

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, April 23, 2020 10:03 AM Just a few years ago, telehealth was on a slow to moderate growth trajectory in the U.S. A 2017 study by the telehealth company Avizia found that most patients—about eight out of 10 U.S. consumers—were largely unaware of how to access telehealth or whether their insurer would cover it. Then came the coronavirus, which kicked telehealth into high gear. With more doctors and patients physically separated than ever before, telehealth is bridging the gap with its relative accessibility, low cost and usefulness as a diagnostic tool. Once an outlier, telehealth has now vaulted into health care’s mainstream. But will it remain there? Read More

Review of Optometric Business: How My Practice Is Using SBA Loan Funds and My Other Practice Survival Strategies

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, April 23, 2020 10:00 AM When the pandemic worsened, and local governments ordered shutdowns of all “non-essential” services, optometric practices stopped providing routine eyecare. Fortunately, some relief has been provided by Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. We applied for and obtained the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Here is how my practice is using money from the loan we obtained, and other ways we are making it through this crisis. Read More

Telehealth Will Remain Vital, Post-Pandemic

By Andrew Karp
Monday, April 20, 2020 12:41 AM Just a few years ago, telehealth was on a slow to moderate growth trajectory in the U.S. A 2017 study by the telehealth company Avizia found that most patients—about eight out of 10 U.S. consumers—were largely unaware of how to access telehealth or whether their insurer would cover it.

Creating a Pandemic Playlist

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 17, 2020 10:06 AM Since the pandemic began, my VM colleagues have written some terrific and timely Today’s Read pieces aimed at helping readers get through these strange and frightening times. Gwen Plummer wrote how to stay sane during a crisis. Mark Tosh chimed in with suggestions for taking our minds off “that other thing.” Mary Kane share her observations, as well as reports from readers, about our WFH (Work From Home) experiences. As I prepared for my turn to take over this space, I realized what tough acts these are to follow. As I searched for a fresh angle on the COVID-19 crisis, I hit on the idea of curating a Pandemic Playlist, which seemed to offer creative possibilities.