Following your passion will take you places but expertise will be the foundation to establish a business in the target market. Lead experts Rafael Clérigo and Luís Lopes, have joined forces and talent to devise and build CLAIRE. An AI solution that meets the clients’ needs and vision.
Q: Tell us about CLAIRE?
Luis: CLAIRE is an Artificial Intelligence platform hosting top clinical eyecare apps to help professionals find the contact lenses that match the prescription and suit the patients’ needs. Research has shown that eye care professionals (ECP’s) consider Specialty Contact Lens management as being time-consuming (88%) and technically difficult (84%), which results in many lens changes (58%) leading to decreasing patient compliance. On top of that, 57% of ECP’s do contact their supplier’s technical support on a regular basis. We see it happening daily, both Rafael and I have experience in the sector. I’m a partner in a contact lens distribution company in Portugal and Rafael was the head of the technical support department of a contact lens manufacturer based in Madrid.
Q: How CLAIRE was born?
Rafael: The CLAIRE idea was born because of the difficulties that I was facing when I was dealing with my team. We were wasting a lot of time on contact lens support. From Luis’ side, being a contact lens distributor implies that his ECP’s customers sometimes did not want to prescribe specialty contact lenses because it was time-consuming. As a result, it was truly challenging for Luis’s team to increase sales due to those limitations. I also experienced these pains that we are going to solve with CLAIRE’s solution.
Q: How does CLAIRE platform work?
Luis: Our platform works with contact lens brands featuring their apps and making their services available to our clients. CLAIRE solution targets two main issues: the first one is the fact that ECPs may spend up to one hour on the lens fitting process, which usually requires them to keep contacting the manufacturer’s technical support. Secondly, 50% of prescribed contact lenses must be remade due to inadequate settings and specifications. Adding to that, contact lenses manufacturers and distributors are challenged with excessively high costs related to technical support.
CLAIRE’s platform will facilitate ECP’s work, by aggregating all contact lenses search tools, calculators, and virtual assistants into a standardized solution so that ECP’s can increase their productivity, expand their portfolio and the number of patients. Not to mention, that manufacturers and distributors be able to optimize their customer support departments and increase the sales of premium lenses as both professionals and patients will be satisfied with the improved process.
Q: What are the main achievements so far?
Rafael: We already developed our first application, which we have been testing in Portugal for two years now. We managed to decrease by 60% the lens exchange ratio and have been receiving great feedback from our customers. On top of that, we have achieved a first fit calculation success rate of 77% and a 100% success rate on renewals. And all of this without having to buy extra expensive equipment. Based on the promising results, we have concluded that the best strategy for us will be to bring on new application developments for different contact lens brands. In terms of competition, our AI-based apps are highly differentiated, as we offer virtual technical support, educational tips, video tutorial, and ordering tools to ECPs’ preferred providers, all through a user-friendly interface.