How Jim Thimons Helped Bring OIS’ Unique Approach to Talking About Innovation to Optometry and OIS@SECO 2019

‘Shark Tank’-like Winning Pitch Challenge Beckons Innovative Ideas by February 18

When he attended his first Ophthalmology Innovation Summit at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery a few years ago, Jim Thimons, OD, recalls he was taken by the format, and wished he could attend something like that in optometry. One thing led to another, and now Dr. Thimons is co-chair of OIS@SECO 2019, scheduled for the afternoon of February 21 at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center.

In his day job, Dr. Thimons is founding partner and medical director of Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut, a multidisciplinary eye-care practice of ophthalmologists and optometrists – including Eric Donnenfeld, MD, and Robert Noecker, MD, MBA – with four offices in southern Connecticut. The SECO Congress, one of the largest continuing-education conferences in optometry, draws some 6,000 attendees and includes 250 sessions and 20 education tracks.

What’s on the OIS@SECO 2019 Agenda

At OIS@SECO 2019, 20 firms will present during company showcases. Expert panels will focus on innovation, dry eye, glaucoma, and imaging and diagnostics. The agenda closes with leaders from Johnson & Johnson Vision, Takeda, Allergan, Carl Zeiss Meditec, and Bausch Health sharing their companies’ strategies in the optometric channel. OIS founder Emmett T. Cunningham, Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, will moderate the closing panel. Details on OIS@SECO 2019 are available here.

It all came about because of those impressions Dr. Thimons had attending his first OIS. “I was really quite taken by the format, the level of discussion, and the extraordinarily interesting and exciting newness of the material,” he says. “It’s a very different concept of information delivery, and it also is an opportunity at the same time to look to the future as you practice in the present.”

‘Something Optometry Would Really Benefit From’

With that, he started making calls among his optometric colleagues to gauge their interest about bringing such a program to their discipline. “This is something that optometry would really benefit from in the concept of the information download, and allowing you to look at what’s currently there, what’s the future, how industry is viewing our profession – and ophthalmology – where the investments are going to be made, and how the clinical trials are going forward,” Dr. Thimons tells OIS Weekly. “That helps you craft your long-term perspective on practice, and the interface to your patients.”

He calls OIS@SECO 2019 an opportunity for optometry to “really interface with the future” of ocular surface disease, glaucoma, and diagnostic imaging and systems. “But it’s the future from the perspective of the people who are making it,” he says. “It’s one thing to have me get up and talk about somebody’s product; it’s a whole different perspective to have the chief medical officer of one of the largest companies in the world get up and give you their perspective on where they see the potential applications.”

That’s the level of people optometrists will get a chance to hear from at OIS@SECO 2019.

Registration for OIS@SECO 2019 is available here.

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