Since the early 1990s, Dr. Boyco, a board-certified eye doctor, has dedicated himself to addressing the negative outcomes of contact lens over-wear among his patients. The lack of breathability in regular lenses often leads to severe side effects, prompting many patients to abandon contact lenses and return to wearing glasses. These side effects can include conditions such as the pink eye (conjunctivitis), corneal abrasions, eye irritation, corneal ulcers, eye infections (bacterial, viral, and even more serious fungal causes), and even blindness.
During that time, the prevailing solution was laser refractive surgery. Dr. Boyco acquired Lasik Eye Centres from Lasik Vision Canada, the parent company of Lasik Vision USA. While this approach successfully addressed issues faced by some contact lens wearers, it failed to cater to younger patients whose eyes were still developing. “We can’t expect patients to undergo laser refractive touch-ups every year during their teenage and young adult years, or especially after age 40 when their near vision changes,” explained Dr. Boyco. Typically, a person’s prescription doesn’t stabilize enough to meet the criteria for laser eye surgery until their late 20s.
“It’s like laser eye surgery in a box.”
This realization marked a breakthrough moment. Imagine having a healthy and breathable material that couldn’t be over-worn. Substantial research funding was already being allocated to silicone hydrogel contact lenses for patients with corneal transplants, serious ulcers, and sight-threatening abrasions. Why couldn’t these lenses be mass-produced to make them more affordable for the general public? After all, the principle of bulk purchasing should apply here, shouldn’t it?
Dr. Boyco reached out to various lens manufacturers, ranging from the Netherlands to Taiwan, with a proposal.
Would any of these companies be interested in partnering with him for research and development to:
- Mass-produce silicone hydrogel contact lenses for the general population.
- Achieve better quality through standardized and repeatable bulk production.
- Offer commercial lenses in bulk, leading to lower prices and increased availability of different prescriptions for the public.
Before this vision could become a reality, they needed an audience…
Coincidentally, Dr. Boyco owned the largest eye care chain in Canada, Image Optometry, which provided him with a ready-made patient base eagerly seeking an improved contact lens.
Thus, HD2O was born.