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    Hackathon series puts focus on digital eye care

    Innovative technologies improve patient outcomes, educate ODs

    How do we move from the 21-point eye exam to 21st century digital eye care?

    Since the start of the 21st century, technology has revolutionized how we care for our glaucoma, retina, contact lens, low vision, and refractive surgery patients. However, the primary care eye exam has remained relatively unchanged.

    We have certainly taken excellent care of our patients for many years, but what does this status quo have to do with patient outcomes or a reliance on our own comfort levels?

    There has been a revolution in higher education over the last decade transitioning to digital learning and away from linear, analog learning processes.

    Related: Handling patients who want you to adjust glasses purchased online

    Evolution of digital thinking

    Digital thinking, augmented/virtual reality, and non-traditional methods of teaching have certainly not replaced standard teaching methods, but they have found important niches—and have grown exponentially.

    The optometric profession seems to have a fascination with ocular disease. Some have long argued that we no longer place enough emphasis on refraction and binocular vision.

    The more widespread use of medical imaging and digital eye care should allow us to not only be more efficient but also obtain more accurate objective findings yielding improved patient outcomes.

    Only then would optometrists be able to spend more time on binocular vision and other visual anomalies when appropriate.

    On May 6 and November 18, 2016, approximately 50 people (SUNY faculty, residents, students, alumni, researchers, other optometrists, industry experts, and other professionals) participated in the first two SUNY New Technologies Unit Hackathons.

    Thomas A. Wong, OD
    Dr. Wong is a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry and a member of the AOA Ethics committee and ASCO Ethics SIG. He is a past ...


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