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Key Takeaways from ESCRS 2023: Data, connectivity, patients, and sustainability were at the heart of the Congress

The 41st Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS 2023) was yet another landmark event that brought together leading eye care professionals in the fields of cataract and refractive surgery. Held at the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Centre in Vienna, Austria, from September 8 to 12, the event was marked by thought-provoking discussions and valuable networking opportunities.

Against the picturesque backdrop of Vienna, ESCRS 2023 provided a remarkable platform for the exchange of cutting-edge research, insights, and technological innovations among eye care professionals. This event once again proved to be an exceptional opportunity for ophthalmologists and eye care specialists to stay at the forefront of developments in their field.

Below are my top four takeaways from the event.

1. Data is key, and the devil is in the details

Strong scientific data is vital to validating claims, comparing treatment options, and unlocking new possibilities for eye care professionals and their patients. At Alcon, we believe in supporting ethical, independent clinical research conducted by qualified third-party sponsors and investigators.

One of the key papers that was presented at the ECSRS 2023 was Where is the Plus in a Monofocal Plus IOL? It mentioned Dr. Morgan Michelleti’s non-interventional study that showed Clareon® monofocal IOL provides excellent distance and intermediate vision that is non-inferior to TECNIS Eyehance monofocal IOL.1,2 

In addition, leading ophthalmic surgeons presented the Vivity® Registry Study, which monitored real-world patient experiences for up to 12 months post-cataract surgery with implantation of either AcrySof® IQ Vivity® sphere or Toric.3

Data from 900+ cataract patients demonstrated sustained clinical performance, high patient satisfaction, and reduced dependence upon glasses. Evidence also suggested that AcrySof IQ Vivity can be used successfully in a broad range of patients, including those with mild comorbidities such as dry eye and diabetes, providing surgeons and patients with additional treatment options.

As the ophthalmic community, we must push and prioritize thorough data analysis and precise claims substantiation. The devil is in the details, and by prioritizing accuracy, we can significantly impact innovations and patient outcomes. 

2. Patients want more

Our recent Alcon Eye on Cataract Survey highlighted that three in four patients agree they are willing to pay for a lens that is likely to eliminate the need for glasses after surgery.4

It also highlights that cataract surgery remains the main procedure that people are willing to invest in, among other age-related activities like dental implants, hearing aids, or brain-stimulating activities.4 This confirms that patients want—and are willing to pay for—value.

3. Integrated connected care is the modus operandi

Recent double-blinded market research conducted by Alcon in Germany, France, and Japan confirmed that connectivity to health record systems and from clinic to operating room is already an expectation from the customer. And, in many cases, it’s being implemented at a certain level.5

Alcon Vision Suite is Alcon’s answer to the customer’s needs. By offering a seamless ecosystem that connects the industry’s most comprehensive operating room suite with clinical diagnostics, digital solutions, and first-class training and services, we are able to partner with surgeons and care teams for more complete and connected care.6

4. Sustainability is not just a “nice to have”

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword anymore; it’s a necessity. The conference emphasized that businesses can no longer treat sustainability as optional.

At Alcon, we’re working to reduce waste, emissions, and concerns associated with disposable instruments versus reusable ones, while also ensuring patient safety and optimal results—which remain our top priorities.

In one such key initiative, Alcon partners with Plastic Bank to help improve our plastic impact while continuing to help people see brilliantly. For each ton of plastic used in our IOL delivery systems sold and our leading contact lenses and packaging produced, Plastic Bank collected the same amount of ocean-bound plastic in vulnerable coastal communities.7

In conclusion, ESCRS 2023 left us invigorated and armed with valuable insights. The four takeaways—the pivotal role of data, the growing need for spectacle independence, the prominence of connected care, and the urgency of sustainability—serve as guiding principles as we continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the ophthalmic industry.

Editor’s Note: The 41st Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS 2023) was held at the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Centre in Vienna, Austria, from September 8 to 12, 2023. Reporting for this story took place during the event.

References

  1. CRST GLOBAL Europe Edition. Monofocal IOLs: Impact of Optical Design on Intermediate Vision. Available at https://crstodayeurope.com/articles/monofocal-iols-impact-of-optical-design-on-intermediate-vision/monofocal-iols-impact-of-optical-design-on-intermediate-vision. Accessed on October 11, 2023.
  2. Clareon IOL Aspheric Hydrophobic Acrylic IOL with the AutonoMe Directions for Use. Available at: https://www.myalcon.com/international/professional/cataract-surgery/iols/clareon-monofocal-and-toric/ ; https://www.myalcon.com/international/professional/cataract-surgery/delivery-systems/autonome/ Accessed on October 24, 2023
  3. Bala et al. Multicountry clinical outcomes of a new nondiffractive presbyopia-correcting IOL. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2022;48(2):136-143.
  4. Cataract Research Survey 2023 – Global Survey Report. Available at: https://www.alcon.com/media-release/cataract-surgery-alcons-acrysof-iq-vivity-iols-demonstrates-sustained-high-patient  Accessed on October 24, 2023
  5. DHS Business Model Research – 2023 – IPSOS.
  6. Market Scope. 2020 Ophthalmic Diagnostic Equipment Report: A Global Analysis for 2019 to 2025. Available at https://www.myalcon.com/international/professional/events/escrs/alcon_vision_suite/ Accessed on October 11, 2023.
  7. Alcon 2022 Social Impact and Sustainability Report. Available at: https://alcon.widen.net/s/kqj8nqc7vt/social-impact-and-sustainability-report-2022  Accessed on October 24, 2023

Disclaimer

This content is intended for Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) only. Please note that product-related promotion of Medical Devices to non-HCPs may be subject to restrictions based on local rules and regulations. The content of this article is for informational purposes only. The authors and publishers of this article do not endorse or recommend any specific treatments, procedures, or interventions.

GLB/IMG-CLM-2300003

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