Thursday, December 1

VR, block chain technology could be useful for retina education



Houston III SKS. Surgical telementoring. Presented at: Retina World Congress; May 12-15, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Houston reports advising and consulting for Alcon.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Virtual reality and block chain technology could prove useful for surgical education in retina, according to a speaker here.

“Surgical education has always been in real life — apprenticeship, medical school, residency, fellowship — but COVID-19 accelerated the use of virtual education. We’re all used to video conferencing platforms, virtual conferences, webinars, videos and presentations where we can chat and ask questions,” S.K. Steven Houston III, MD, said at the Retina World Congress. “As more education goes virtual, new hardware and software can reshape how we interact virtually.”

S.K. Steven Houston III

Houston described how VR headsets, video capture devices and a virtual desktop application aid his practice.

“You can easily toggle down and make it stereoscopic. It’s a very easy way to view 3D video,” he said.

Houston also discussed technological developments in surgical education. He said the metaverse, a virtual communication space where user interaction mimics the real world, can be used for virtual adjunct meetings, resident to fellow education, new surgical techniques and certifications. He plans to host an ophthalmology grand rounds within the metaverse later this year.

In addition, non-fungible tokens may have a future role in retina. Houston said that block chain technology could potentially be used for images, surgical videos, lectures, papers, posters and journal articles.

Houston said that a virtual surgical amphitheater allows individuals to use imaging and educational videos with proximity viewing, which features audio that will get louder as the user moves closer to it in virtual space in a way similar to real life.

“It’s a new way to start to think about how we can curate better surgical experiences for people around the world and help them gain access to education,” he said.

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