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A MONTHLY BRIEFING ABOUT WEB TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNET-BASED BUSINESS TRENDS April 2010

Are You Leveraging New Tools on Your Web Site?

Each month, CLICK reports how ECPs and optical retailers are using new approaches to build their presence online and grow connections with their patients. The latest in a series of popular e-newsletters from Vision Monday, CLICK is a monthly briefing designed specifically to provide practice insights and ideas about the latest Web site features, tools and Web-based applications.

Catch up on CLICK! Learn from dozens of stories, tips and interesting ideas in the easy-to-access archives of CLICK at www.visionmonday.com. Tried something new on your Web site or have you launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.
—The Editors

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in focus
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The New 'Mobile' EyeXam: ODs Develop Vision Screening iPhone App

DENVER—The vision screening has gone mobile. Could it prompt more comprehensive eye exams?

Global EyeVentures, Inc, announced earlier this month the availability of its EyeXam iPhone application on the Apple iTunes store.

Nikki Iravani, OD, founder of Global EyeVentures, describes EyeXam to CLICK as “The next generation vision awareness device.” EyeXam features a self-guided method for measuring one’s own visual acuity at distance and near, and was developed by two optometrists. The free download EyeXam also includes color vision plates, an Amsler grid, and eye dominance test. A disclaimer on the app reinforces that the EyeXam app does not replace an examination by a licensed professional.

The EyeXam’s release was announced at the Vision Source annual meeting here. Vision Source L.P. is the exclusive sponsor of the EyeXam doctor locator, while Alcon is the sponsor of EyeXam’s section on “eye drops and solutions”. AllAboutVision.com has provided a link for eye anatomy information. Additional strategic industry partnerships are pending.

During its first month on the iTunes store, EyeXam was downloaded over 100,000 times and was the second-most downloaded free iPhone application in the “medical” category. It is already the most popular eye and vision related iPhone application to date. A demo of how the EyeXam app works is posted on YouTube.

“It is well known that consumer advertising through print and television offers diminishing returns,” said Iravani, who noted, ”Consumers are increasingly using information technology to direct their health decisions and we need new ways to communicate the message.”

Citing the app’s direct access to 58 million iPhone/iTouch users, she added, “The high download activity for the EyeXam opens a new venue for our industry to reach their target audience and educate the public on the importance of professional eye examinations.”

“We are excited to partner with Global EyeVentures, providing the EyeXam doctor directory to help patients locate the nearest Vision Source doctor,” stated Bobby Christensen, OD, senior vice president, Vision Source, L.P. “This app is a great tool for patients to learn more about their vision and then be able to select a doctor for eycare within close proximity.”

Global EyeVentures, founded in 2009 by Nikki Iravani, OD, is a consulting firm that specializes in supporting the ophthalmic industry with product development, professional services, and sales and marketing.

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solutions

An OD’s Blog on Social Media Enlightens the Citizens of SightNation

NEW YORK—View social media as a way of “starting a conversation” with your patients, but pay close attention when participating.

“Once you immerse yourself, the differences between the people who follow the rules, and those who don’t, will become apparent. Those who follow the rules benefit with increased business, reputation and opportunities through their growing network and those who don’t are ignored, never maximizing the potential of a SM campaign.”

Such straightforward language, combined with detailed, but practical and easy-to-understand analogies, are part of the now five-Part (so far) “Step by Step” guide to social media for eyecare professionals now being posted by Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO, founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, Rockville, Md. via his weekly SightNation.com blog.

One of the earliest eyecare practitioners to get involved in the Web, Glazier’s own Web site, YourEyeSite.com and blog, in addition to his Facebook and Twitter presence, has greatly enhanced his practice’s visibility to patients—and potential patients—in his own local market and around the country. (See the story on Glazier in the February 2010 CLICK.

SightNation is the fast-growing industry-wide social networking site for ECPs and optical professionals. SightNation’s “citizens” now exceed 1,000 registered members in just over five weeks since the site’s launch in March by Jobson Medical Information’s new ECP Business Services Group. SightNation combines the total resources of the JMI Optical Group under the SightNation flag, including Review of Optometry, Review of Ophthalmology,
20/20 Magazine, Vision Monday and LabTalk.

The new site offers an open platform that uses cutting-edge technology to allow optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists, industry execs and other optical professionals to exchange ideas and explore the rising trend in social and professional networking. Among these—the ability to share cases and clinical photos, view news articles and features specific to the business and clinical sides of the field, access a robust range of COPE- and ABO-approved continuing education offerings and participate in forums and blogs, including Glazier’s. In fact, any registered user on SightNation can start a blog or post a comment in a forum.

SightNation.com is encouraging citizens to invite friends to join. New registrants will automatically be entered into a drawing to win their choice of an Apple iTouch or a $200 American Express gift card, while each successful referral from a registered citizen increases their own chances to win the same prizes.

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cool tools

gaspedal.com

GasPedal let’s you step on it and rev your Web presence. The main Web site is a bonanza “how-to” resource for navigating social media, brand building, advice, tips, e-newsletters and updates from some of the savviest sources on the Web. Learn about seminars, webinars, podcasts, targeted e-learning sessions and grab ideas from clever Web marketing communiqu├ęs, from sources in a range of industries and professional fields. You can get the free GasPedal e-newsletter or sign up for “Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! Unusually useful ideas for smart marketers.”

macworld.com/appguide/

Yes, there are more than 180,000 apps now available for iPhone/iTouch users. Some 280 million apps were downloaded by mobile users in December 2009 alone! This is a site that sorts—and reviews them—by category, by novelty, by the editors of MacWorld, providing a slightly different perspective than Apple’s iTunes store. And the site also offers tips, insights and novel info about the digital world as well as links to other news, blogs and forums.
 

sites to see

With simplified side bar navigation and flash graphics, REM Eyewear has launched its freshly redesigned Web site, a faster, sleeker resource for REM’s portolio of licensed brands and house brands. Users are now just three clicks away from the newest collections from Converse, Lucky Brand and Jones New York, as well as REM’s bread-and-butter house brands Indie, Lipstick and Pop Corn. Remeyewear.com also links directly to REM’s luxury division basecurveeyewear.com which hosts the John Varvatos Collection. “As REM Eyewear moves into a new era we are using all the latest technology to make our business run quickly, efficiently, and make it more user friendly and engaging,” said Mike Hundert, CEO. REM is also changing how it interacts with consumers, optical buyers, brand partners and buying groups with new Twitter and Facebook presence. And a new blog, More than Meets The Eye by creative director Nicolas Roseillier is a chance to learn the inside scoop on the design inspirations, travels and the behind-the-scenes decisions that go into creating 12 eyewear collections a year.

 

On the heels of the successful BE THE NEXT FACE of FYSH photo competition, FYSH UK/ Urban Kool Eyewear, the brand behind the state-of-the-art online community, FYSHNATION.COM, launched an exciting new contest. The cutting edge site champions the identity of FYSH UK through innovative platforms that portray the brand’s culture: “hooked on life.” FYSH UK invited viewers to have some fun and test their film making skills by creating a short video in sixty seconds or less to ‘sea and be seen’ by the underwater community of FYSHNATION.COM. Those who registered to vote online were given the chance to win a free pair of FYSH frames each month, valued at $250, as part of FYSHNATION SWEEPSTAKES. A judging panel reviewed the top “fylms” and Vladimir Yatsina, who made the biggest splash with his LIVE LYFE 2 THA FULLEST Fysh fylm swam away with the $5,000 cash prize. His winning video is at FYSHNATION.COM and is also posted on
You Tube