As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate in the United States and across the globe, companies are developing products and programs to help customers and patients deal with the outbreak.
Topcon Healthcare has announced a series of initiatives and programs designed to support its customers.
Ophthalmologists rely heavily on physical examination during patient consultation, creating some concern for the potential spread of COVID-19 from patients. The ophthalmologist is close to the patient during the slit lamp microscope examination, with droplets from a cough or sneeze easily covering the distance between patient and ophthalmologist.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) issued an alert last month suggesting the virus can cause conjunctivitis and could be transmitted through aerosol contact with the conjunctiva, putting ophthalmologists on the front line, potentially being the first healthcare providers to evaluate a patient potentially infected with the disease.
Ophthalmologists and optometrists must be in close contact with patients while performing an exam and are, therefore, unable to maintain the CDC recommended distance of six feet. In order to combat this and prevent the transmission of respiratory illnesses,including COVID-19, Topcon is offering its slit lamp customers a free breath shield that fits onto their instrument and provides a first line of defense for both healthcare providers and patients.
The shields, designed to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants, are available while supplies last. A protective barrier, they have not been proven to prevent the coronavirus or other infectious diseases. To register to receive the Topcon Breath Shield, customers can visit: http://bit.ly/2x8aVlk.
Topcon also has developed ways for customers to connect virtually with the company in the absence of tradeshows and face-to-face communications.
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has cancelled its annual meeting, to have taken place May 1-7 in Baltimore, and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery has cancelled its annual meeting, scheduled for May 15-19 in Boston. As other tradeshows, conferences and exhibitions around the world continue to be postponed and travel restrictions become more widespread, Topcon is offering virtual sales demos so that customers are able to connect and continue to receive the service they deserve, in a healthy, uncompromising way.
Topcon Healthcare will host an online Expo from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST March 26-27. This event will give customers a "virtual tradeshow" from the comfort of their home or office without jeopardizing their health and well-being. TopconExpo.com will offer special sales incentives to customers while providing live sales support with clinical experts ready to answer any questions they might have.
John Trefethen, global vice president of marketing and product design, noted that the company is leveraging its full technology and resources to alleviate some of the burden this pandemic has placed on our customers.
“Now more than ever, we need to find ways to support one another and provide new methods for our customers to interact with us,” he said. “We hope these programs will allow them to continue running their practices while providing optimal care for their patients in the most safe and effective way possible.”