Andrew Sanders, Professional Service Director at HOYA UK
D.I.M.S technology has received a raft of awards and recognition, including the prestigious Silmo d’Or award in October 2020 and the Grand Prize, Grand Award and Gold Medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2018. HOYA UK’s Andrew Sanders talked to 2020EUROPE about the roll-out in the UK in Spring ’21.
Q: This is a long-awaited launch in the UK following two-year clinical trials. How has the launch been planned and is it part of a global roll out?
A: Absolutely, a long-awaited launch, but one we’re extremely pleased to now announce. The ongoing randomised clinical trial with Hong Kong Polytechnic University highlights a strong efficacy of, on average, a 60% reduction in myopia progression and with that, the lenses are proven to be a safe and non-invasive myopia management solution. Following successful launches in the Asia Pacific region, Canada and France, MiYOSMART also won the Silmo D’Or Vision category award in 2020. Shortly after this prestigious recognition, we’re now able to announce the controlled launch in both the UK and Ireland with other European countries to soon follow.
Q: HOYA’s Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (D.I.M.S) technology is the science behind the new lens. What is the evolution of this technology (i.e., has it been used before and what does it offer)?
A: Previous myopia management spectacle lenses have traditionally used a change in aspherisity to create peripheral blur. Or in some cases, progressive lens type concepts or e-line bifocals where base in prism is used to create peripheral blur, and in later developments, help with accommodative lag – a potential risk factor in myopia progression. The concept behind the D.I.M.S lens was conceived by Prof. Chi-ho To. Whilst sitting on a bus he noticed that the windows had a contra vision type film with a dot design, which is used to allow passengers to see out but stops people from seeing in. It was this bus journey that triggered his imagination to develop the revolutionary D.I.M.S lens. The MiYOSMART lens itself is a novel spectacle lens that incorporates a 9.4mm central hexagonal zone and a 33mm peripheral treatment or defocus zone consisting of micro-lenslents of +3.50 power, arranged in a honeycomb structure. This patented design preserves a 50:50 ratio of full prescription to defocus without dependance of pupil size. With that, the lens is thus highly effective at creating myopia peripheral defocus in the eye, whilst preserving excellent visual acuity when the patient is looking through the defocus zone.
Q: What were the key findings during the two-year clinical trial?
A: The peer-reviewed study showed on average a myopia progression slowing by (SER) 59% and axial elongation (AL) decreased by 60% compared to those wearing standard SV lenses. Additionally, 21% of children wearing the MiYOSMART lens showed no progression during the study period.
Q: What other benefits can you tell us about regarding this lens and its potential as a breakthrough for myopia control?
A: Without doubt, the MiYOSMART lens is truly a game changer in myopia management. Firstly, and in line with the current environment, with MiYOSMART being a spectacle lens, there are no handling or hygiene issues which adds that extra layer of safety and effectiveness for the wearer. The state-of-the-art lenses are also made from lightweight polycarbonate, providing high impact resistance and 100% UV protection - making them ideal for children. The addition of a special anti-reflective coating gives added scratch resistance and enhances the cosmetics of the lenses. It’s important to note that the lenses also carry the appropriate CE marking for myopia management in children.
Q: HOYA UK are supporting the launch by providing a series of webinars and full training on MiYOSMART. Can you expand on this with some details?
A: We believe MiYOSMART is unique, an advanced medical device designed to retard myopia progression - a lens like no other. So, to achieve the best possible results, it’s important for us to provide support in the form of training and educational webinars. This will help to deliver a full understanding of myopia risk factors by means of appropriate advice to practices, parents and patients. The MiYOSMART lens is available only to accounts that have become accredited by enrolling in our full, 3-stage training programs. Firstly, this involves a feature presentation on the research and development of the lens, presented by Prof. Carly Lam, the principal co-investigator at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. A second CET-accredited lecture is presented by Prof. Bruce Evans. This lecture is designed to look into the different myopia interventions, efficacy and key insights from his own practice. This lecture is promptly followed by a 15-question exam with a pass mark of 80% - a benchmark that is deliberately set high to encourage a better understanding of the subject. The final phase of accreditation involves a short talk on the lens product design fitting and the follow up protocols. We want to emphasize this is more than a spectacle solution - it is in fact a managed journey for the patient. This talk is then followed by a short exam which requires delegates to achieve a 100% pass mark. Successful participants then become accredited to access the MiYOSMART lens and receive personal certification.
Q: Will the rollout be accompanied by any specific marketing campaigns - and what will the optician be offered to support them when offering the lens?
A: To support the roll out, our Business Development Managers are supporting the practices, providing both online and face to face workshops relating to the introduction of the lens to parents and patients. Practices are set to receive full launch packs which include a comprehensive ECP guide and frequently asked questions and their subsequent answers. We also have plans to continue the development of additional training modules and CET-accredited events on myopia management. Keep your eyes peeled - we’re sure you’ll be seeing a lot more about MiYOSMART in the months to come.
Q: For HOYA UK, has the launch been a challenge in the current climate or have you managed to overcome disruptions re the pandemic and how?
A: Eyecare providers over the past 12 months have adopted online training formats, which in the case of MiYOSMART, has become an invaluable tool. Many ECPs have found themselves on flexy/furlough during these uncertain times and this has driven many to access the accreditation program in preparation for their full return. While we, like many, eagerly anticipate the ‘return to normal’, MiYOSMART has enjoyed a strong launch - despite the pandemic. We’re finding that similar to everyone at HOYA, eyecare providers and parents are eagerly embracing this revolutionary myopia management solution.