AAO 2016: 4 key takeaways

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Last week was The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2016 annual conference held at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event brought together eye physicians and surgeons from all over the world to share knowledge, network, and learn about best practices and new developments in ophthalmology.   

While a great deal was covered during the AAO event, below are a few key takeaways
worth noting.

Enhance ophthalmology across the globe
The opening session kicked off the conference with AAO Academy and Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) leadership speaking on the importance of AAO's mission: "Protecting Sight. Empowering Lives." Their message in a nutshell: Ophthalmologists working together can enhance eye care across the globe and have an impact on both the community and the cost
to society.

Re-position ophthalmology on the national stage
Recently, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report entitled "Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow." The report proposes a framework to improve eye and vision health in the United States where these areas of medicine remain relatively absent from national health priority lists.

Academy CEO, David W. Parke II, MD spoke about the paper's nine recommendations and stressed that "it will take leadership, it will take resources, and won't happen overnight. But if we sit passively by we may miss a real opportunity to re-position ophthalmology on the
national stage."

Change the future of ophthalmology with revolutionary ideas
What's next for the eye exam? Can artificial intelligence save sight? These were some of the pressing questions raised and discussed during the spotlight session: "Ophthalmology's Ideas Worth Spreading: Four Revolutionary Ideas That Will Change The Future of Ophthalmology."

Among this session's topics covered were:
  • Automation will be key to the future of eye care exams. All-in-one-technology with a single digital dataset that contains an entire eye exam from the patient, provider, and referring physician will ultimately increase quality and efficiency.
  • Replacing slit lamps with OCT (optical coherence tomography) imaging can enhance the way we deliver eye care by obtaining more comprehensive patient information, accessing deeper layers of the retina, and making it possible to study diseases in
    unprecedented ways.
  • Artificial intelligence is poised to play an integral role in saving sight in the future. Potential key contributors may be automation of screening programs and predictive analytics.

Incorporate cognitive computing
Another area of interest covered in the technology pavilion was the presentation: "Welcome to Cognitive Computing." Keynote speaker, Lloyd Hildebrand, MD, CEO Inoveon and Steve Tolle, VP & Chief Strategist, Watson Health Imaging, spoke about how big data analytics are evolving in ophthalmology and highlighted some of the tools that are beginning to generate cognitive computing capacities in eye care.

Originally posted on: 10/28/2016 3:30:45 PM

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