A new medical device is launching in the coming weeks designed to make it easier and more effective for patients to treat and manage their symptoms of dry eye or meibomian gland disease (MGD) at home. EverTears by ThermaMEDx is a self-heating, pre-moistened sterile, disposable cleaning eye pad that is intended to provide patients “the ultimate in at-home care and convenience.” When the patient opens and activates one of the individually wrapped eye pads, it instantly provides moist heat at the precise temperatures to manage a patient’s dry eye symptoms and underlying issues.
Making It Easy & Effective for the Patient
EverTears utilizes patented ThermaMEDx technology developed by researcher and optometrist Michel Guillon, Ph.D, FAAO. In addition to delivering the precise heat needed for up to eight minutes, Evertears also features a proprietary, preservative-free cleaning system for daily lid hygiene. Professor Guillon and co-founders Ben Nobles, a former Alcon executive, and Carl Sweat, an entrepreneur and former Coca-Cola executive, created the product specifically to help improve patient compliance through greater convenience, affordability and by eliminating the need for multiple products.
The ease and effectiveness of EverTears is transformative for patients, says Marguerite McDonald, MD. “The real #1 game changer is that EverTears is so convenient! We have known for years that moist heat followed by cleaning is critical for the treatment of ocular surface disease. TFOS DEWS II and all the workshops agree that patients must do this on a daily basis, and our patients simply do not do it…….until now!” she says. “The best dry eye centers of excellence begin with using the most effective treatment options and therapies for dry eye disease and MGD. Noncompliance remains our no.1 barrier to better patient outcomes. As an industry, we still need more effective, affordable and convenient solutions for our dry eye patients to use at home.” Click HERE to watch a video in which Dr. McDonald details how EverTears is making a positive impact on her patients and dry eye practice.
The precision of EverTears is an essential component to treatment success, ThermaMEDx points out. When patients are instructed to heat compresses in their microwave, it is hard to know exactly how hot the compresses will become. While over 90 percent of U.S. homes have a microwave oven, the wattage levels to control heat output vary widely from 600 to 1,200 watts. Without the ability to precisely control the temperature being placed over the eyelids required as established in the literature, some compromise in performance or safety risk is inherent in the process. In addition, some ECPs have indicated concern that microwaves are also not the most sanitary environments for daily use of a medical device. Conversely, EverTears was designed by ECPs to provide a sterile, controlled source of moist heat in a single-use disposable medical device to help manage dry eye symptoms and underlying issues.
Making it a Practice & Profitability Builder
According to ThermaMEDx, EverTears provides a new evergreen revenue model for ECPs as it is being launched exclusively through the professional community in 2021: “Our leadership and board believe it is critical to not only establish EverTears as the preferred therapy and new standard of care, but to also provide a new value proposition and revenue model to benefit the business of ECPs. In our model, the average practice ($750,000 in gross revenues) can make over $15,000 in net profit by recommending just one patient/day in EverTears. This equates to a 3-5 percent benefit annually on net profit for one of the most common pathologies seen in practice.”
Unlike many over-the-counter products, which provide little financial participation for ECPs (e.g. artificial tears, wipes, etc.), ThermaMEDx says it created a simple revenue model that enables all ECPs to participate, even those who do not sell products in their office. And unlike treatment options that require in-office equipment, there is no significant investment of cash upfront to get started. ThermaMEDx is now taking pre-orders on its website for any customer who would like to be first in the U.S. to receive the product.
When EverTears arrives in the office, each case comes with educational brochures and special Rx pads to help ECPs and staff recommend and/or sell the product in three steps:
1) Demonstrate how to use EverTears with the patient using the provided brochures
2) Sell patients a “starter supply” of one 30-count box
3) Provide patients with the special Rx slip with QR code and special link to https://thermamedx.com/rx and encourage them to create an account to receive discounts and free shipping. When patients enter their zip code, they can choose their referring ECP from a list to receive their benefits. This step also links any purchases back to the referring ECP to support compliance and practice health.
A New Company for a New Approach to Serving Dry Eye Patients
Fueled by the vision of Professor Guillon, ThermaMEDx says its team is passionate about bringing sustained relief for patients suffering from dry eye. Nobles explained, “Our patented medical devices utilize thermal technology to provide an effective, affordable and easy to use at-home therapy. The technology was designed to help address the underlying obstruction which causes the majority of symptoms patients experience with dry eye or MGD.”
Dry eye disease is the most common problem and pathology seen in clinical practice today. Over 300 million patients suffer from dry eye disease internationally with over 30 million+ affected in the U.S. alone.
The science and understanding behind dry eye disease has changed significantly over the last two decades. As recently as 2000, most believed that dry eye disease was an aqueous deficient problem. Accordingly, ThermaMEDx explains, the optical industry responded by introducing artificial tears and other products to address a problem thought to be mostly attributed to aqueous deficiency.
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But as Professor Guillon pointed out, “In recent years, the science has evolved. We now know that over 85 percent of dry eye patients suffer from an underlying issue and an evaporative problem, MGD. It is important to not only clear the meibomian gland obstruction, but also to ensure we provide daily therapy to keep the glands healthy and working properly. In fact, TFOS DEWS II and most global experts recommend daily heat therapy and lid hygiene as part of their standard of care.” ThermaMEDx interviewed nearly 100 ECPs and found that the no. 1 challenge related to dry eye disease facing practitioners today is compliance associated with the at-home care required to improve patient outcomes.”
With EverTears, ThermaMEDx is hoping patients will be served by having an “easier-than-ever way to effectively administer dry eye treatment at home, and that practices will benefit from having a simple and effective way to build dry eye services and revenues.”