Eight-Country Consumer Survey Reveals Substantial Opportunities for ECP-Patient Engagement
It’s a simple question in a day when seemingly everyone is glued to their smartphones, tablets, gaming systems and other digital screens: Has your eye care professional (ECP) spoken with you about digital device use?
Shockingly, recent CooperVision research found the answer to be a resounding no. Globally, just 14 percent of contact lens wearers reported that they had spoken with an ECP regarding the topic. Yet 78 percent of contact lens wearers—nearly four in five—said they would be very or somewhat interested in exploring ways to reduce eye tiredness with their ECP.
This question and many more were posed as part of a multinational, two-part initiative to survey approximately 14,000 consumers regarding their perceptions about their eyes as they related to digital habits.
Run in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the Biofinity Energys™ contact lens first entering the market, the survey was designed to provide ECPs with facts and figures that could be used to help engage patients about digital eye fatigue as well as to prompt consumers to speak with their ECPs about common symptoms.
“It’s clear that people around the world are beginning to consider the effects of digital device use on their eyes, including discomfort symptoms associated with digital eye fatigue,” said Gary Orsborn, OD, MS, FAAO, FBCLA, Vice President, Global Professional & Clinical Affairs.
“While there’s widespread interest by patients in discussing digital device use with their eye care professional, that’s not happening in large part. Bridging this conversation gap is a substantial opportunity for ECPs, helping them provide better care while remaining even more relevant in the lives of their patients as device use skyrockets.”
Believed to be the largest initiative of its kind, part one of the survey was conducted in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States .
After analyzing the data to generate several compelling insights, a team from Global Marketing developed a series of tools to present the information to customers, consumers and ophthalmic news media. These included a four-page Digital Device Usage & Your Eyes report (available for download at https://coopervision.com/digital-report ); a series of infographics used on the company’s Global and U.S. social media channels; and indepth briefings with some of the industry’s top journalists to discuss the findings.
“Our reach has already surpassed 1 million people alone through the public relations effort, and we’re seeing continued upticks in engagement on social media,” noted Pamela Jackson, Senior Director, Global Communications & Digital Marketing. “What’s even more compelling is those results have primarily come from the U.S., which piloted the rollout since Biofinity Energys™ was first introduced there. Now with other country marketing and sales teams beginning to localize and promote the report, we anticipate even more widespread interest.”
The report also highlights how respondents cope with the ocular discomfort from digital device use, which phrases they use to describe how their eyes feel after long periods of screen viewing, and similarities and differences among consumers depending on where they live. A follow-up survey in six nations revealed that nearly three in four contact lens wearers are willing to pay a premium for an option that reduces symptoms of digital eye fatigue.
“How we use and rely on our eyes continues to change, especially as they have become the primary interface between digital devices and our brains. Our report illustrates that eye care professionals have an incredible opportunity to better help consumers understand how digital lifestyles impact vision,” remarked Dr. Orsborn.
 All figures in the report, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov America Inc. The total sample size was 9,343 adults in Australia, France, U.S., Germany, U.K., Japan, and Spain, of which 1,282 wear contact lenses. Fieldwork was undertaken between August 22-29, 2017. The survey was carried out online.
 An additional online study conducted by YouGov America Inc. of 18,099 adults (6,891 contact lens wearers) was carried out in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, Spain, and Italy between October 5-12, 2017.
Figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) from each country.