INTERVIEW: Laurie Bailey

How was your company founded?

Adlens® was co-founded by visionary philanthropist and business owner James Chen in 2004. He saw the potential of adjustable focus eyewear for changing vision correction, and changing lives, around the world.

Charitable work in Rwanda followed top-level research and development, and now Adlens has fully emerged as the world leading commercial enterprise in adjustable focus eyewear. Today, over 600,000 pairs have been worn from America to Japan and in-between.

What separates you from the competition?

For centuries, solutions for vision correction have had to remain static. People have come to accept the limitations that come with static corrections, whether they choose to wear glasses or contacts with set prescriptions, or opt for a one-off fix with laser surgery that won't prevent further deterioration. 

Adlens passionately seeks to challenge this and give people an alternative, so they don't have to accept these limitations to their vision. Adjustable eyewear gives people a choice beyond static correction, offering greater freedom to control their own fluctuating eyesight, even through the inevitable deterioration of age.

Which charities are you involved with and why?

From the very beginning, Adlens has had a close partnership with Vision for a Nation, an independent non-profit organisation seeking to implement vision care reforms in Rwanda. This has involved consultancy and advice from senior Adlens experts, and donations of eyewear. Over 18,000 pairs of Adlens eyewear were donated to Vision for a Nation in 2014.

Adlens' involvement stems from its deep-rooted belief that vision care can continue to improve for everyone, everywhere. Poor vision affects livelihoods, identity and self-worth for millions of people around the world, and Adlens wants to help raise awareness of this through its technology and philanthropic initiatives.

How should we explain your product to our clients?

Adlens eyewear follows two technology paths. The first is 'Instant Eyewear', which uses the Alvarez sliding lens principle to offer continually adjustable focus between -6 and +3 diopters by turning small dials on the frames. With an affordable retail price and functional product range, including Adlens Interface™ computer eyewear with blue-blocking lenses and Adlens Sundials™ sunwear with UVA/UVB resistance, Instant Eyewear is popular with opticians for its incremental sales potential. A fully customizable, affordable 'spare pair' of corrective eyewear that is not designed to replace fully prescribed lenses - and patients love seeing how the technology really works!

The second path is 'Variable Power Optics' (VPO™), which uses advanced fluid compression methods combined with standard distance prescription lenses to offer unparalleled optical excellence for near, intermediate and distance vision. This premium eyewear comes in designer frames, and is indistinguishable from a normal pair of stylish single-vision or progressive glasses, as the adjusting dial is hidden on the inside. AdlensFocuss™ is the flagship eyewear utilizing this advanced technology, and will be available for the first time in select US Eye Care Professionals from June 2015.

What's one thing you'd like to share with opticians?

Like any new idea in an established industry, it may not be obvious how the concept of adjustable focus eyewear fits in with best practice optical care. Allow us to demonstrate how Adlens eyewear can benefit your practice, and your patients.

With Adlens Instant Eyewear, being able to offer patients an endlessly flexible spare pair to complement their prescription glasses is a great benefit. You can help them discover a solution to their fluctuating vision, or encourage them to take vision correction seriously by presenting an adjustable pair that their whole family can use. They are not designed to replace prescription glasses, but rather enhance the range of care an optician is able to provide.

With Adlens VPO eyewear, exactly the same eye exams and traditional patient care are required to prepare their glasses as with a normal pair; the difference is that the patient will receive a unique, advanced tool offering an alternative to progressive and bifocal lenses.

In every case, Adlens eyewear enables opticians to offer their patients more choice and more control over their vision, while maintaining and even enhancing best practice customer and patient care.