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    Using virtual reality in your practice

    As other professions adapt to VR, it’s time for optometry to do so as well


    The future

    It is impossible to predict the future of virtual and augmented reality in optometric care because it is up to us. Virtual and augmented reality presents an opportunity to differentiate our practices from others.

    Google has shown us that less expensive cardboard VR devices can be just as effective as more expensive models that have so far failed to capture a strong market share.8 It is my belief that universities and athletics will lead the way toward the more widespread use of VR.

    My alma mater Georgetown University has started to make use of VR applications in creating 360-degree YouTube videos of the Georgetown campus for use with any VR device, e.g. cardboard VR devices.9

    In March 2016, Fox Sports broadcasted the Big East men’s basketball tournament in VR format for the first time.10 Perhaps the time is near for optometry to utilize VR to enhance the quality of human interaction for our patients.

    Related: Why patients are choosing eyecare apps over you


    1. State University of New York College of Optometry. See the VR Simulation Laboratory in Action. Available at: https://www.sunyopt.edu/news/the-future-is-now-new-simulation-laboratory.... Accessed 6/28/17.

    2. Kent C. VR: A New Frontier in Eye Care? Rev Ophthalmology. Available at: https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/virtual-reality-a-new-frontier-in-eye-care. 2015 Jul. Accessed 6/28/17.

    3. Rai A, Rai A, Mavrikakis E, Lam WC. Teaching binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy to novice residents using am augmented reality simulator. Can J Ophthalmol. 2017 Apr. Available at: http://www.canadianjournalofophthalmology.ca/article/S0008-4182(16)30295-2/fulltext. Accessed 7/17/17.

    4. CogniSens Inc. NeuroTracker. Available at: https://neurotracker.net. Accessed 6/28/17.

    5. Matsumoto C, Yamao S, Nomoto H, Takada S, Okuyama S, Kimura S, Yamanaka K, Aihara M, Shimomura Y.Visual Field Testing with Head-Mounted Perimeter 'imo'. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 26;11(8):e0161974.

    6. Maeda N. Clinical applications of wavefront aberrometry - a review. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Jan;37(1):118-29.

    7. Diniz-Filho A, Boer ER, Gracitelli CP, Abe RY, van Driel N, Yang Z, Medeiros FA. Evaluation of Postural Control in Patients with Glaucoma Using a VR Environment. Ophthalmology. 2015 Jun;122 (6):1131-8.

    8. Metz C. The Inside Story of Google’s Bizarre Plunge into VR. Wired. 2015 Jun. Available at: https://www.wired.com/2015/06/inside-story-googles-unlikely-leap-cardboard-vr/. Accessed 6/28/17.

    9. Soltis P. VR Technology Aims to Enhance Human Interactions. The Hoya. 2016 Apr. Available at: http://www.thehoya.com/virtual-reality-technology-aims-to-enhance-human-interactions. Accessed 6/28/17.

    10. Neslon K. Fox Will Broadcast Big East Basketball Tourney in VR. Digital Trends. 2016 Mar. Available at: https://www.digitaltrends.com/virtual-reality/fox-ncaa-tournament-viruta.... Accessed 6/28/17.

    Read more from Dr. Wong here

    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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