As a research-based firm headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, I-MED Pharma
has a vision to be the most important dry eye and ocular surface disease company in the world. With a mission to bring complete relief to dry eye and ocular surface disease patients worldwide, I-Med Pharma provides innovative ocular surface disease (OSD) solutions to the global optometry and ophthalmology community.
During its more than 30 years in the ophthalmic market, I-MED Pharma has continuously invested heavily in R&D and has created unique and effective products for ophthalmic surgery and for the management of dry eye disease (DED).
Describing IMED-Pharma’s “no nonsense, very lean and mean” approach, Dr. Matossian noted that although the Canadian company is fairly new to the U.S. market, they’ve been around for decades. She said their “small and nimble” framework means they can provide individualized support to each eyecare provider to offer patients both in-office and at-home treatments.
Providing Integrated, Quantifiable DED Testing
Referencing the “unmet needs” related to easily diagnosing DED, Matossian said the process has typically required the use of separate diagnostic tools.
“Sure, we’ve had meibographers, our MMP-9 tests, and our tear osmolarity tests, but each one was a separate unit,” she said.
However, with IMED-Pharma’s tearcheck®, this one desktop diagnostic tool makes eight different tests “readily available” and includes:
- Abortive Blinking (Eyelid Tonicity)
- Demodex (Lash base alteration)
- Meibography IR (Meibomian Gland Analysis)
- OSIE® (Ocular Surface Inflammatory Evaluation)
- Eye Fitness Test
- Eye Redness
- NIBUT/TFSE® (Non Invasive Breakup Time/Tear Film Stability Evaluation)
- Tear Meniscus
And the fact that the unit is so compact offers a big plus.
“You don't have to move the patient from one work area to another,” Matossian explained. “So it actually is very streamlined. It takes about eight to ten minutes and can be performed by a technician.”
As far as integrating the tearcheck® testing into patient flow, she said it depends on what works best for everyone involved—and that impromptu testing may be possible. If that’s not feasible, then patients suspected of having DED can be scheduled for further evaluation.
“This way, you're not running behind,” Matossian said. “And the patient understands they’re getting a comprehensive dry eye workup.”
Also, since it can be overwhelming for patients to receive too much information at once, scheduling a follow-up visit gives them a chance to process everything.
“By bringing them back, you’re reinforcing what you said and then expanding on it,” she explained.
Matossian said a key feature of tearcheck® is that it quantifies each of the eight areas tested.
“It's the only unit I personally know of that provides the exact percentage, for example, of meibomian gland dropout,” she explained, noting that the results are displayed in color-coded columns.
“You can print it right away and hand the printed copy to the patient,” she said. “So they're going home with a type of report card of their dry eye. It's also integrated into your EMR system to become a permanent part of that patient's medical record.”
Matossian said the detailed, printed results can be a powerful tool, especially for asymptomatic patients who might need more proof about the status of their DED.
“It’s what many of them need to become believers,” she explained. “That indeed, there is something wrong with their tear film. Indeed, they do have dry eye disease so they become more compliant with whatever it is that we as eye care providers recommend.”
She also emphasized the value of this type of quantified reporting to monitor a patient’s progress.
“What's unique about this quantified report is that, first, it will help the eye doctor make the diagnosis and help the patient get a quantitative report,” Matossian said. “Then we, as providers, can initiate treatment and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment over time by repeating the test. Those numbers should start to go from the red column to the orange to the yellow over time.”
She added that quantified testing is also helpful to assess patient compliance with the treatment regimen. If a patient was doing well and then seems to regress, the provider can talk with them to see if a different approach may be a better fit.
“Then I may go to a different treatment algorithm, knowing that they're not going to be compliant at home,” she said.
Offering Cutting-Edge IRPL® Technology
When compliance with at-home treatments is an issue, Matossian said one option she might recommend is an intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, such as I-MED Pharma’s IRPL® technology, E>EYE.
This scientifically proven IRPL® (Intense Regulated Pulsed Light) technology is more than just an IPL treatment and has shown improvements to meibomian gland function across multiple clinical trials. The sessions are quick and outcomes have been impressive:
- Long-lasting results for several months after treatment protocol1
- 86% satisfaction - scientifically proven efficacy2
- 96% of patients recommended the treatment3
- 92% of patients confirm improvement of symptoms4
- 55% of patients stop using eye drops after the treatment3
Matossian said she likes the efficiency of the IRPL® technology.
“You don't have to do two passes. You just do one,” she explained. “And the number of applications is also significantly less than other available technologies.”
Plus, the small size of the unit means that doctors working at multiple sites can easily take it with them.
Providing Comprehensive DED Solutions
With all the treatment options on the market, Matossian said what makes I-MED Pharma unique in the dry eye space is that everything is available in one place.
“This is especially helpful for practices starting with the treatment of dry eye disease and wanting to establish a dry eye center of excellence,” she explained. “It's one company that has all three arms under its umbrella.”
Those three arms include the ability to:
- Identify and diagnose with Tearcheck®
- Treat in-office with E>EYE IRPL®
- Offer at-home management therapy with an array of options—including IMED-Pharma’s ocular hygiene products, dry eye ointment, nutritional supplements, and therapeutic accessories.
She said the ability to get everything that’s needed from one company is a great benefit. Plus, the products are also offered in convenient, pre-made kits.
“So, depending on what's going on with the ocular surface of your patient, you can do the diagnostics, in-office treatment, and add home remedies,” she explained.
Underscoring the multifactorial nature of DED, Matossian said there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
“It's like making a perfect soup,” she explained. “You'll have to add a little bit of this. Add a little bit of that, tasting it to get it just right. It's the same with dry eye disease. It’s combining many different treatment modalities to provide the patient with the type and level of treatment their disease warrants.”
(Editor’s note: At publication date, ESW Vision’s products are no longer available in the United States through I-MED Pharma USA)
- Christian Malbrel et al. Treatment with a polychromatic pulsed light device for a dysfunction described as “dry eye” in the form of a corneal condition associated with a deficiency in the lipid layer 2012 – ESW internal study.
- Jennifer P Craig et al. Prospective trial of intense pulsed light for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Feb 12;56(3):1965-70.
- E>Eye IRPL Dry Eye Treatment Customer Satisfaction Results, 2015 – ESW Australia.
- Luca Vigo et al. Intense Pulsed Light for the Treatment of Dry Eye Owing to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. J. Vis. Exp. (146), e57811, doi:10.3791/57811 (2019).