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Quick Hits

Survey gives insight on ophthalmic staff

Results collected from 351 Ophthalmic Professional subscribers detail benefits, salary, longevity and more.

By Robert Stoneback, associate editor

The results of the Fourth Annual Ophthalmic Professional Salary Survey of 351 ophthalmic professionals revealed demographics and other factors regarding ophthalmic staff, including salary, benefits and career longevity. The respondents were subscribers to Ophthalmic Professional, Ophthalmology Management’s sister publication for ophthalmic allied health staff.

The majority of the respondents, 64%, were employed at a private practice. The second-highest result for practice setting was multispecialty clinics (19%). Other settings included university or educational practice (10%) and hospital (4%).

The Fourth Annual Ophthalmic Professional Salary Survey included responses from 351 ophthalmic professionals on topics such as salary, benefits and certification.

Respondents indicated their effective certifications: The majority, 39%, had their COA, while 24% had a COT, 9% had a COMT and 6% had an OSA. Only 12% of respondents reported having no certification.

The survey results demonstrated staff’s longevity in the industry, with more than 59% having worked in an ophthalmic-related position for more than 20 years. 28% of respondents have worked in their position for more than 30 years.

In terms of salary, the majority of respondents (47%) earned between $40,000 and $60,000 a year. About 39% of respondents made in excess of $60,000.

Survey respondents also listed the benefits they received from their employer; almost all, 94% received medical insurance. The two other most common benefits were a qualified retirement plan, at 78%, and dental insurance, at 75%. The vast majority of responders, about 85%, listed their benefits as “extremely valuable” to their job. A majority of respondents also said their practice picked up at least half of the cost of their medical insurance, with about 36% saying their practice covered between 50% and 74% of the cost and 27% saying their employer covered 75% to 99% of the insurance costs.

QUICK BITS

Alcon is developing a new digital platform, the Smart Suite. The Smart Suite will connect multiple diagnostic and surgical devices through a cloud-based infrastructure and integrate with a practice’s existing diagnostic equipment, EMR and technologies in the Alcon Refractive Suite. Smart Suite is designed to give eye-care professionals easy access to a patients’ vital diagnostic data throughout the cataract procedure.

Diopsys released its Chromatic Flash Vision Screener, a screening protocol for detecting early retinal function changes in patients with diabetes. This in-office screening test uses red-on-blue flash electroretinography to provide quantitative measures of retinal function; results are analyzed against healthy reference range data in order to determine the probability of retinopathy development.

OD-OS launched a new widefield objective for its Navilas 577s laser system, which brings to the device non-contact panretinal photocoagulation with access to the far periphery. This addition makes Navilas the only retinal laser allowing for navigated focal and peripheral treatments with a contact lens.

At the AAO meeting, Optovue showcased its AngioAnalytics, the world’s first OCTA blood vessel measurement technology, and 3D PAR, a three-dimensional projection artifact removal software. AngioAnalytics adds objective data and analysis to Optovue’s AngioVue OCTA technology; among its features is the creation of color-encoded maps of vessel densities of the retina or optic nerve. Optovue’s 3D PAR improves OCTA image quality and allows accurate measurement and interpretation of OCTA images.

Amydis and Optos announced a clinical alliance to develop an eye test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease. Amydis has developed a pipeline of compounds to identify amyloid proteins in the retina, which can be visualized with Optos’ optomap ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices.

Study: Da Vinci’s artistry a result of strabismus?

A new study from JAMA Ophthalmology hypothesizes that Leonardo da Vinci’s extraordinary painting ability may actually be a side effect of strabismus. The study, by Christopher W. Tyler, PhD, DSc, examined six “likely portraits and self-portraits” of da Vinci and found that in most cases the depicted subject’s direction of gaze was consistent with an exotropic strabismus angle of -10.3°. Measurements of the artistic figures were taken by fitting them with circles and ellipses on their pupils, irises and eyelid apertures and measuring their relative position. Dr. Tyler concludes that this suggests da Vinci had intermittent exotropia; as a result, the Renaissance artist would be able to “switch to monocular vision,” and this two-dimensional sight could have helped him render detailed, three-dimensional images on a flat canvas.

Respondents also indicated the role they play in diagnostic equipment and other practice supply purchases. About 43% said that they evaluate products for purchase, 41% recommend specific products for purchase and 37% order products for purchase.

The survey was conducted online, via e-mail invitation, from April 30 to May 22. The full survey report can be downloaded at Ophthalmic Professional’s website at bit.ly/2DgC7jK . OM