An easy way to measure the effectiveness of nutraceuticals for more powerful prescribing.
By Aaron Werner, OD
Sept. 6, 2023
Patients, like all of us, lead busier lives than ever. It’s often hard to maintain a diet filled with all the key nutrients required for good ocular and overall health. A new device from MacuHealth, LifeMeter, gives our practice a way to measure carotenoid concentration levels and quantify the need for nutraceutical help. And with MacuHealth sold both in our office and online via an account dedicated to our practice, we are able to easily provide patients with a product that delivers those essential carotenoids.
A Conversation to Have With All Patients
We test all patients at the front desk with LifeMeter when they check in. It does not matter what kind of appointment they have, if it has been over a month since we’ve seen them, we test. This prompts a discussion about nutrition and nutraceuticals using data specific to the patient. Now that we’ve had the LifeMeter for a while, patients are coming back on their own just to check their score after taking MacuHealth and get excited to see their number improve.
Previously, we really only discussed MacuHealth with patients who had or were at risk for AMD. Since getting the LifeMeter, we are discussing the need for carotenoid supplementation with all patients, and our MacuHealth sales have more than doubled. Our MacuHealth capture rate is currently 20 percent, meaning we are selling a bottle to one of every five patients coming in for an annual eye exam. Before LifeMeter, our MacuHealth capture rate was around 7 percent, or one bottle per 13 patients coming in for an annual eye exam.
LifeMeter plays a huge role in our patient education! It is the catalyst to start the conversation and the individual patient’s score makes the conversation “real.” Testing patients at check-in and reviewing their score with the technician starts the conversation early and carries into their visit with the doctor. Our whole team understands their role and responsibility in the education and care of our patients, including how the right nutrients can protect their sight.
What We Might Say to a Patient About Nutrition & Ocular Health
We have refined our conversation with patients. This is what our doctors and staff might say:
“Ms. Jones, your score shows that your skin carotenoid levels are in the average range for Americans. Average is fine for some, but we think your potential is well above average! Skin carotenoid levels provide us a good idea of the carotenoid concentration levels in neurologic tissue like your retina and brain. Having higher carotenoid levels in your retina not only is protective against macular degeneration, but can improve the quality of your vision, including contrast sensitivity and night vision. To improve your score, we believe in MacuHealth. Their 10-10-2 formulation has all of what you need and nothing you don’t, and our patients and staff who take it have all seen an improvement in their LifeMeter scores in as little as a month. To maximize its effect, remember to take your MacuHealth with a meal, and we can’t wait to see how much your score improves when we test again”
Patients Most Trust Evaluations that Can Be Quantified
Numbers rarely lie. We can FEEL like we are healthy, FEEL like we are eating well, even FEEL like the supplement we are taking is working, but without a quantitative measurement we don’t know.
LifeMeter gives patients that reliable number, either confirming that what they are doing is working and motivating them to continue, or opening their eyes (pun intended) on where they can improve their carotenoid intake and supplementation.
Diet is a natural part of the conversation, but unfortunately, all food is not equal, just like all supplements are not equal. Each person’s metabolism is slightly different too, so the LifeMeter allows us to have individual conversations, rather than general discussions, with patients. We are customizing the conversation to each patient’s unique needs.
Sight-Saving Nutrients that Also Grow Practice Profitability
Our revenue this year from MacuHealth sales will definitely be way more significant, thanks to LifeMeter! We are on pace to generate around $25,000 in net profit ($50,000 in revenue).
As my team gets more comfortable discussing carotenoid supplementation, I anticipate an even better experience for patients.
We are on a constant professional journey, doctors and staff, to better ourselves and take better care of patients. LifeMeter is a great vehicle in that journey. This fall, we plan to have our whole staff go through the educational program to receive MacuHealth’s nutraceutical certification.
We want to ensure we are educating our patients about all they can do to for their ocular health and vision, and then providing them with a product that reliably gives them what they need. LifeMeter and MacuHealth are the tools that allow us to do this.