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The 3rd annual SOVS conference on 16 June was a great success. University staff worked hard to provide a full and varied programme where students and already qualified optometrists could learn, discover new research, and network with colleagues. The conference was summed up by one delegate as “So much to do, so little time!”

Attendees heard high-quality plenary presentations and took part in well-attended practical workshops covering Binocular vision, Dry Eye, General Health and Optometry, Unconscious Bias, Virtual Reality and Glaucoma. University of Auckland researchers rounded the day off with short rapid-fire presentations of their recent findings, while others presented their research posters during the lunch break.

Some specific highlights of the conference as reported afterwards include:

  • A plenary talk given by distinguished Retinal Specialist Dr David Squirrell, who gave insights about a new ophthalmic device called the Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A). The OCT-A enables clinicians to assess the blood flow in the back of the eye in a non-invasive manner.
  • The University’s Staff Equity Manager Cathie Walsh gave a plenary talk and ran an interactive session on unconscious bias in the healthcare system and how awareness can help eliminate issues that result from such bias.
  • In the Virtual Reality and Eye Tracking workshop, Drs Phil Turnbull and Tina Gao and PhD candidate Soheil Doustkouhi demonstrated how infrared eyetracking and virtual reality can be used to translate optometry and vision science research into novel and objective optometry tests.
  • The Dry Eye workshop was extremely well received with feedback that it was extraordinarily educational and useful.

Anyone who has not yet provided feedback regarding the event and topics of interest for future professional development opportunities is still welcome to do so here: SOVS conference 2019 feedback.