Novartis' Alcon adds online training portal to supplement in-person eyecare education centers

Alcon offers in-person training at 26 centers and 42 wet labs, along with with six Alcon Experience Centers.

Virtual school is now in session at Alcon. This week, Novartis' eyecare division opened the portal, an extension of its real-world Alcon Experience Academy. Eyecare professionals can access its library of more than 500 videos, which include tutorials and webcasts, although the focus is on real surgical case studies. More content specific to optometry is planned for next year.

The virtual education portal supplements Alcon’s face-to-face instruction and training, which it offers at 26 training centers and 42 wet labs, along with six Alcon Experience Centers (with two under construction). The experience centers are relatively new and opened within the past three years, while the other training facilities have been operating for longer, said Alex Long, head of surgical commercial development at Alcon.

“We’ve had a very positive response from customers going to the experience centers, training centers and wet labs where they learn hands-on skills, the surgical procedures, from thought leaders and their colleagues, as well as didactic classroom presentation,” Long said. “…The Alcon Experience Academy portal is a new way to address virtual training for our customers.”

The online academy is open to anyone looking for professional eyecare educational resources. HCPs and others can sign up online by creating a free account to get access to the Alcon digital library.

RELATED: Novartis picks Geneva over Texas for new Alcon eyecare HQ

While Alcon is currently still a division of Novartis, the parent company announced plans to spin off Alcon into its own company in 2018, pending shareholder approval.

Novartis bought Alcon in 2011 for $52 billion and will keep ophthalmology drugs under its brand, while the new Alcon will focus on eye devices and surgical products. Analysts estimate the value of the spinoff will range from $15 billion to $25 billion.