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    Diagnostic technologies focus of industry acquisitions in 2014

    Movement likely signals era when surgeons will increasingly turn to real-time refractive measurements


    Take home

    Manufacturers of ophthalmic diagnostic systems are increasingly incorporating advances that improve the predictability of outcomes and integrate technologies.


    The move by Alcon Laboratories to acquire WaveTec Vision and gain full rights to the ORA intraoperative guidance system was the big news in the area of cataract surgery diagnostics technology in 2014.

    The development is a testament that the wavefront aberrometer has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2009 and likely signals the beginning of an era when surgeons will increasingly turn to real-time refractive measurements to improve outcomes in cataract surgery, according to Randall J. Olson, MD, and Mark Packer, MD.

    More in this issue: Improvements in imaging, corneal biomechanics take center stage

    Dr. Packer became involved in the development of the ORA system early on, more than 7 years ago, and he believes that it will now enter the mainstream of cataract surgery. In addition, the fact that Alcon is integrating the ORA system into its Cataract Refractive Surgery Suite may have ramifications for surgeons who are contemplating the purchase of a femtosecond laser.

    “Surgeons interested in buying a femtosecond laser may base their decision on access to the intraoperative guidance tool, giving Alcon a competitive advantage in the femtosecond laser market,” said Dr. Packer, who is in private practice, Boulder, CO, and clinical associate professor of ophthalmology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland.

    Dr. Olson observed that various issues affecting the reliability of results achieved with the ORA system seem to have been addressed. That fact together with an increasing number of papers showing that use of the technology provides clinically important improvement in the predictability of refractive outcomes support the idea that it will become an important adjunct.

    As another testimonial, Dr. Olson said that while he has been watching with interest information being reported about the ORA system since the beginning, he has now decided that the platform should be part of the Moran Eye Center’s complement of equipment.

    Cheryl Guttman Krader
    Cheryl Guttman Krader is a contributor to Dermatology Times, Ophthalmology Times, and Urology Times.

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