Since 2012, independent medical devices distributor SWISSMED Pte Ltd (Singapore) has been bringing European and American technology to Asian ophthalmologists. Owned and founded by Pascal Aeschlimann, the Singapore-based company aims to establish long-term partnerships with ophthalmologists through its high-quality and proven products in specialist areas including cataract, refractive surgery, dry eye, glaucoma, diagnostic equipment and practice development tools.
“We want to change behaviors and help doctors think differently . . . Introduce a new way of doing things,” said Mr. Aeschlimann. “We’re not in the business to offer cheaper options for mainstream products, but every product we offer adds value to its user and aims at achieving greater outcomes for their patients. That’s what makes us different in this market.”
The company has several innovative products in its catalog and has partnered with nearly 30 companies and proudly promotes their products, including Oculentis (Berlin, Germany), LENSAR (FLA, USA), 1stQ (Mannheim, Germany), STAAR Surgical (CA, USA), TearLab Corporation (CA, USA), E-Swin (Paris, France), Rysurg (FLA, USA), ASICO (ILL, USA), ISP Surgical (MA, USA), Glaukos Corporation (CA, USA) and New World Medical (CA, USA).
According to Mr. Aeschlimann, SWISSMED’s continued plan for growth hinges on introducing superior products to market. One such product is a varifocal intraocular lens (IOL) from Oculentis. “We were able to introduce this lens at the right time, when surgeons started to lose confidence in diffractive lenses . . . and it blew the minds of the doctors who tried it,” he said. “Witnessing the positive impact that this premium lens has had in our customers’ practices has encouraged us to keep looking for such game-changing technologies.”
SWISSMED’s catalog also includes various products to diagnose and treat dry eye disease. The company has partnered with TearLab Corporation to distribute the TearLab Osmolarity System, which is intended to measure the osmolarity of human tears and aid in the diagnosis of dry eye disease. In addition to this diagnostic platform, the company also sells E>Eye (E-Swin, Paris, France), a device that produces perfectly calibrated and homogenously sequenced light pulses to stimulate the meibomian glands in order for them to return to their normal function. “We were able to introduce technologies in a space dominated by paper strips (Schirmer’s test) and lubricating eye-drops. Now our customers can perform high-tech diagnostic and offer state-of-the-art procedures to provide long-term relief to their patients suffering from MGD and blepharitis,” explained Mr. Aeschlimann.
The company has also set its sights on treating conditions that are more common in Southeast Asia. One such condition is blepharitis, a bacteria-induced inflammation of the eyelids. According to Mr. Aeschlimann, wipes have generally been prescribed to improve lid hygiene, but they have poor patient compliance. To better treat the problem, the company sells BlephEx™ (Rysurg, FLA, USA), a revolutionary new patented hand-piece, used to very precisely and carefully, spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of the eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating the eyelids. “It’s something nice that doctors can offer in their practice. Instead of selling a box of wipes for $10, doctors can now do this procedure, charge $150 and it improves the patient’s comfort for months.”
Another area of focus for SWISSMED is glaucoma (the company distributes the Glaukos’ iStent). In some countries, the company sells the Kahook Dual Blade (KDB) from New World Medical, which is a blade that strips off the trabecular meshwork. “We strongly believe in the future of MIGS to prevent the need for more complicated surgeries down the road. We prefer an approach targeting the trabecular meshwork, which is safe and does not involve blebs management issues post-op,” added Mr. Aeschlimann.
This smaller, surgically focused company now employs 40 people across six offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila and Brisbane, making it perfectly positioned to cater to the Southeast Asian market. The company also serves ophthalmologists in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia.
“Our goal is to become the number one independent supplier of ophthalmic surgical products in Southeast Asia in the next three years,” said Mr. Aeschlimann. “Our team of hardworking individuals takes pride in introducing these game-changing technologies to our customers. Creating and enjoying the partnership with pioneer-minded ophthalmologists is what keeps us going the extra-mile.”
Editor’s Note: For more information about SWISSMED, and to view their full catalog of partners and products, visit www.swissmed.asia.