Eyewear holder gives patients place to store glasses during eye exam

August 1, 2014

William Neusidl, MD, invents eyewear holder that attaches to slit lamp table, gives patients safe place for glasses

An innovative-yet-simple holder created by an ophthalmologist serves to answer the conundrum for where patients can store their eyewear during an eye exam.

Phillipsburg, NJ-It was nearly 2 years ago when William Neusidl, MD, began to notice his once clutter-free exam room had been taken over by cords, hardware, and wiring due to his clinic’s recent adoption of electronic medical records.

Empty tables where patients had stored their glasses during an exam were no more, causing frustration and confusion. Not knowing what to do with their glasses, patients would end up holding them, which would get in the way of exams, Dr. Neusidl explained.

“There was really no work space for (patients) to put their glasses,” said Dr. Neusidl, an ophthalmologist at Coventry Eye Associates, Phillipsburg, NJ. “They were fumbling around.”

Innovating out of necessity

A few days later, Dr. Neusidl had a late-night epiphany.

“I got out of bed and cut up cardboard at 1 a.m.,” he said. “I made a cardboard cutout (of an eyeglasses holder) and put a hinge on it. I thought, that’s how I can attach it to the slit lamp.

“When the patients take off their glasses, (I) move the machine toward them, (and) they naturally put their hand on top of the holder and put their glasses in it,” Dr. Neusidl said.

 

NEXT: Turning an idea into a product + Photo

 

 

What came next was a year’s worth of tweaking the holder, contouring it so that most eyewear would fit into it, and figuring out how to make sure it did not detach from the table.

The spectacle holder attaches to a slit lamp table so patients can have a place to store their eyewear during their exams. (Images courtesy of William Neusidl, MD)

Turning an idea into a product

Several prototypes later, Dr. Neusidl said he began attempting to secure a provisional patent for his invention called Spec-Deck.  The name combines the words “spectacles” and “deck” to emphasis the easy-to-use quality of the invention, Dr. Neusidl said.

The holder has three unique parts:

  • A flexible hinge with a range of motion of 90° to 180° allows a secure attachment to various structures, such as a slit lamp table.

  • 3M dual-lock tape serves as a clear, low-profile, re-closable fastener that attaches securely to most surfaces, such as glass, plastic, steel, fiberglass, wood, and painted surfaces. The fasteners are reusable up to 100 times and can withstand a large variation in temperatures (–20° F to >158° F).

  • A clear, protective, non-slip pad is placed inside the holder to prevent glasses from moving, as well as from being scratched or damaged. The pad is washable with soap and water. This element is important, Dr. Neusidl said, because it maintains sterility.

The most important aspect that makes the holder so valuable, Dr. Neusidl said, is that his invention is a “necessity” for all physicians’ offices. The product not only saves time during exams because patients are no longer fidgeting with their glasses, but it also can be sterilized and is cost-effective ($19 for the holder, fasteners, and pads).

 

Looking to the future

After receiving a trademark for the invention, as well as securing Gulden Ophthalmics as a distributor, Dr. Neusidl said he hopes to take the holder beyond the physician’s office.

“Right now, it is for ophthalmology, but I hope to get it everywhere (eventually),” he explained.

Since he started advertising the product, Dr. Neusidl said he has been approached by colleagues and friends for more uses where people would need a place to keep their eyewear, such as golf carts, cars, motorboats, and lockers.

It is the hope of Dr. Neusidl that his invention will be utilized in every ophthalmologist’s office within the next 5 years.