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American Academy of Ophthalmology and FundamentalVR Collaborate on Virtual Reality Initiative

Shaping the Future of Ophthalmology: The Academy and FundamentalVR Spearhead a Groundbreaking VR-Powered Clinical Education Initiative to Transform Ophthalmic Training.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 3, 2023 – The American Academy of Ophthalmology has teamed up with FundamentalVR, a leader in virtual reality (VR) medical training, for their Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) Pediatric Ophthalmology VR Simulation Program. This collaboration, made possible by a generous $5 million donation from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, marks a significant step towards revolutionizing pediatric ophthalmic training by harnessing the power of VR technology through a free and open simulation program for ophthalmologists and ophthalmology trainees worldwide.

In the past year, the Academy and FundamentalVR have made significant strides in the development of this pioneering educational platform. With a goal to improve the skills of ophthalmologists and expand their knowledge base, this initiative will offer a range of specialized training programs focused on pediatric eye diseases and conditions.

“The potential to improve training programs is huge. Just as virtual reality has greatly enhanced the experience of video games, so can being immersed in a virtual surgical training environment. Studies show that it allows residents to learn details more efficiently and effectively, leading to a decrease in complications in actual cases with real patients. There is simply no substitute to performing a task again and again to master the basics. These platforms provide a safe, lifelike environment in which trainees can practice as much as they want, with real-time feedback that allows for course correction.”Faruk H. Orge, MD, Executive Editor of the KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center

Phase one of this initiative focuses on building a simulator for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Residents, trainees, and practicing ophthalmologists will learn how to examine patients and perform intravitreal injection and laser treatment, all in a safe environment through VR.

“ROP is a natural first choice for this effort because it is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children worldwide. At the same time, the opportunity for trainees to learn how to properly examine and treat babies is limited. Outside of the U.S. many countries don’t allow residents to perform any pediatric surgeries, so there’s huge need for the ability to practice and learn proper techniques.”K. David Epley, MD, Deputy Executive Editor of the KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center

The Academy has chosen to partner with FundamentalVR, recognized for its transformative work with organizations like Orbis International, to design and build a specialized curriculum for pediatric eye care. Following the ROP simulator, subsequent modules will address strabismus management and other critical pediatric ophthalmology topics.

“We are thrilled to be working with the American Academy of Ophthalmology on this transformative venture. Our collaboration with the Academy not only underscores our commitment to advancing the field of ophthalmology but also highlights the immense potential of VR in creating safer, more effective learning environments for healthcare professionals. Together, we aim to equip ophthalmologists with the skills and confidence needed to provide exceptional care to patients around the world, ultimately improving patient outcomes and enhancing the quality of eye care globally.”Richard Vincent, Co-Founder and CEO of FundamentalVR

AAO 2023 attendees (Nov. 3 – 6) can experience a live demonstration of the VR platform at the Resource Center, Moscone West Expo, Booth 7537.

Moscone West Expo, Booth 7537

  • Saturday, Nov. 4th and Sunday, Nov. 5th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 6th from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

FundamentalVR, Booth: 5504

To learn more about the collaboration please visit: aao.org and fundamentalvr.com

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate and support research to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

About FundamentalVR

Global leader in immersive surgical training, FundamentalVR was founded with the mission to accelerate human capability in surgery and medicine by using virtual technologies and created to transform traditional surgical training methods through VR, precision simulation, and a patented kinesthetic haptic system with data, artificial intelligence, and multimodal learning. Its Fundamental Surgery platform allows for full rehearsal of medical and surgical procedures, and its patented HapticVR™ technology mimics the physical touch of surgical actions. The platform’s unlimited multi-user capabilities and mixed modalities work individually or together for each business case, accelerating the time in which products and procedures can be brought to market and improve patient outcomes, resulting in FundamentalVR’s platform being the only immersive training solution accredited by leading global education institutions such as the AAOS and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. For more information, please visit FundamentalVR.com