Innovation is a tradition at Designs for Vision, Inc. (Designs). The company
was founded almost 50 years ago by William Feinbloom, OD, PhD,
with the goal of producing task-oriented optical devices. A pioneer in low
vision, Dr. Feinbloom founded two schools of optometry, established the
specialty of low vision for partially sighted patients and was a forerunner in
the field of ergonomics. Several of Designs' current optical designs have
their origin in Feinbloom's groundbreaking work. In more recent years
Designs has married optical designs and new technologies to maintain the
innovative tradition. Designs for Vision proudly designs, engineers and
manufactures in the United States.
Early on, Designs for Vision would receive requests from surgeons for
a task-oriented device that would allow them to visualize small structures
in the wound. Designs began producing what would become surgical telescopes. "We knew our telescopes were helping surgeons
achieve better surgical outcomes," says Designs for Vision
Partner Richard Feinbloom, "But we really needed someone
to help us reach our potential. My father and I recruited Peter
Murphy to grow our business."
Peter's background was in heart surgery and he knew the
leading heart surgeons on a first-name basis. This gave Designs
instant credibility. Murphy designed a marketing program,
recruited international distribution and created a national sales
force. "From my experience in the operating room, I knew that
the Designs for Vision Surgical Telescope could help surgeons
perform better surgery. It really was a case of having the right
product at the right time," says Peter.
Designs' magnification telescopes took off and in 1973 it
introduced the first fiber-optic headlight for surgery. "We
wanted to offer a complete visualization solution; magnification
and illumination as essential tools," says Peter. A little while
later, Murphy and Richard Feinbloom purchased Designs for
Vision from Dr. Feinbloom and later added a third partner,
Chief Financial Officer Herbert Schwartz.
In the early 1980s, Designs was approached by several leading
institutions and opinion leaders to incorporate magnification
and illumination into the field of dentistry. Designs listened
to their ideas and set about designing dental telescopes and
headlights to fit its requirements. Designs quickly outgrew its
Manhattan facility and the headquarters was moved to Long
Island in 1986.
In the May 2004 issue of Dentaltown Magazine future plans
were sketched out. "We followed through with those plans by
adding another 15,000 square feet of manufacturing space and
updating our manufacturing equipment to allow us to increase
production," says Schwartz. The company also expanded its
sales force in response to the increased demand for its products.
In the 2004 article, Richard spoke about the company's
future product development explaining, "The marriage of
micro-circuits, optics and digital technology is the future of
Designs for Vision…" This research led to the introduction of
the L.E.D. DayLite Headlight a few years later.
"Designs for Vision combined our core optical expertise
with the evolving field of light emitting diodes to produce bright
white illumination that is evenly distributed across the field,"
says Ken Bragança, director of engineering. Other LED headlights
utilize collimators that suffer loss of intensity resulting in
uneven light distribution, Ken explains "Designs for Vision's
innovation was to gather the light and focus the light onto the
field utilizing our precision optics," Designs for Vision received
a United States patent number 7,690,806 covering the use of
optics to focus the light produced by an L.E.D.
Additionally, Designs' experience in designing operating
room equipment was used to enhance the function of the new
L.E.D. headlights. "In certain situations, you have to design
for 'what if,'" declares Peter. "We design products with the
safety of patients and practitioners in mind." For example, the
exclusive Blue Cable technology is designed to reduce exposure to Electro Magnetic Current (EMC). This
feature allows the L.E.D. DayLite Headlights to be
safely used around other medical equipment.
Redundancy is provided by including two
rechargeable lithium-ion power packs to let you use
one, while you recharge the other. Peter says , "Redundancy
has always been utilized in the critical care environment, our
experience in this area demanded that we provide redundancy
in our L.E.D. Headlights." To further enhance the
product, the power packs allow you to vary the light intensity
to your needs. Designs' L.E.D. Headlights can be
mounted on dental telescopes, loupes, eyeglasses or can be
worn on a lightweight headband.
An exciting development since 2004 was adding Nike
frames to its line. "The response to the Nike frames has been
overwhelming. Doctors, dentists and hygienists love the look
and feel of the Nike collection," says Kelly McKinnon, vice
president of sales. "We have recently added Nike Skylon Ace
frames and the reception has been fantastic. Everyone loves the
style, plus the unique design provides a greater downward
angle allowing for good ergonomics."
Ergonomic design has been an integral part of Designs'
product offerings and harkens back to founder, Dr. William
Feinbloom. He believed each optical instrument should be created
as a task-oriented device and should be custom manufactured
to each individual. Feinbloom really predated the field of
ergonomics and was intuitively building devices to ergonomic
criteria several decades before the field existed," says Peter.
Designs continues to build upon this foundation and
to follow the principles of individual craftsmanship.
According to an ergonomic study (Rucker, et.
al., JADA, Vol. 130, July 1999) "When a clinician
chooses a surgical magnification system to support optimal
intraoral vision, it is important that the working distance,
depth of field and optical declination angle of the system correspond
to the body size and musculoskeletal needs of the clinician."
This same study stated, "A surgical magnification
device must accommodate the user's anatomical and physiological
needs, not vice versa." Designs is the only manufacturer
that accomplishes this recommendation. "By matching
the focal length of the telescope to the working distance of the
practitioner, we are able to reduce back and neck pain while
producing a more comfortable instrument to use," says
Richard. "Mass produced systems will force the user to compromise
their posture to the focal length of the telescope
resulting in fatigue and stress. Some systems will try to correct
for lack of customization by reducing the magnification
resulting in poorer visualization and increased risk for musculoskeletal
Dr. Feinbloom received a patent in 1966 that included
designing a frame with pantoscopic tilt to allow for better
downward vision when performing surgical and dental procedures.
This frame is Designs' iconic Yeoman Frame. Designs
honors the groundbreaking work of Dr. Feinbloom with the
introduction of Yeoman frames with a striking new look. These
Yeoman frames incorporate the function, durability and pantoscopic
tilt of the original Yeoman with a choice of contemporary
colors. Company executives advise, "The look is fun, and
we are excited to offer our complete line of Dental Telescopes
in these frames."
An additional result of Designs' funding of research and
development is the newest addition to its product line – the
Laser Telescope. The Laser Telescope is light weight and can be
built with all of Designs' available magnifications, 2.5x, 3.5x,
4.5x and 6.0x. The company has been involved in laser dentistry
from its infancy and recognizes the role enhanced vision
plays in its effectiveness. Designs acknowledges the overall
increase of use of lasers in dentistry. "When incorporating laser
protection within a visual enhancement system, we developed
our product to meet the strictest international standards.
While, most laser protective eyewear only provides one layer of
protection, we learned that the light of the laser is amplified
when viewed through a magnification system and requires
additional protection," cites Richard Feinbloom. Designs'
Laser Telescopes utilize a unique double filter to reduce the
laser light twice before it reaches the eye. It has been affirmed
by an international testing lab as the way to provide the protection
necessary when viewing through magnification.
Additionally, Designs has utilized base-eight curved lenses to
provide wrap around protection.
Looking forward, Designs for Vision plans to continue
research and development into products that combine new technology
with its core optical expertise, not only to improve existing
products, but revolutionize product segments.
Throughout the company's history, Designs for Vision, Inc.,
has dominated its markets on reputation and market share with
custom-crafted product lines proudly made in the United States.
Designs for Vision looks forward to continuing the
tradition of innovation in optical and
electo-optical design and manufacturing
and invites you to "See the
Visible Difference" for yourself
with its 45-day, no obligation trial.
For more information, visit
www.designsforvision.com or call