A full programme ahead for the BCLA Virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition

Held on 13–14 June, the 30-hour live-streamed conference will host a range of presentations from contact lens experts and manufacturers

laptop on stand
Pexels/Ken Tomita

The BCLA’s Virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition kicks off this Sunday (13–14 June) for a live-streamed event dedicated to the latest in contact lenses and the anterior eye.

The event organisers will be holding the 2021 event in two parts, in a virtual format this weekend with a 30-hour live-streamed conference, followed by another event in the autumn which will include online sessions and a face-to-face event – subject to government restrictions.

The conference includes presentations from contact lens experts, manufacturers and suppliers, and enables professionals to network and form connections.

The programme is split into three tracks with sessions covering; ‘application,’ ‘cutting edge,’ and ‘skills development,’ and is set to present the latest in innovation and clinical insight.

A key feature of the virtual event will include insights presented from the Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR) initiative. The global project saw 102 eye care professionals contribute to the 302-page document, with the reports aiming to deliver evidence-based guidance on all aspects of prescribing and fitting contact lenses.

A highlight of the CLEAR sessions will include Future applications of contact lenses in which Professor Lyndon Jones will be presenting the opportunities for making the most of modern technology, and maximising the potential of contact lenses. He will also provide an insight into some of the potential uses for contact lenses in the future, outlining developments underway to use contact lenses for the diagnosis and screening of ocular and systemic disease, treatment of diseases, optical enhancements for low vision, sports enhancements and presbyopia, and the potential use for entertainment and educational reasons.

Amongst a number of sessions drawing on the CLEAR project, Professor Philip Morgan will also present on Effect of lens materials/design on the anatomy and physiology of the eye, while Professor Fiona Stapleton will explore Contact lens complications.

The agenda will also host ‘visit my clinic’ sessions, offering an insight into key clinical scenarios relating to contact lenses and the anterior eye – this ranges from the application of TFOS DEWS2, to the role of remote consultations for contact lens wearers, as well as insight into an A&E clinic, scleral technology clinic, dry eye spa, sports vision clinic, myopia clinic, and a look at what has changed in contact lens practice post COVID-19.

Sponsor insight: Innovation on the agenda

Partner sponsor of the event, Alcon, will host a number of sessions and has also had 18 abstracts accepted, including data on Total30, a product the company has described as “the first-and-only monthly replacement water gradient contact lens.”

Sessions hosted by Alcon include Comfort in practice moderated by Eric Papas and featuring Professors Jennifer Craig, Lyndon Jones and Greg Sawyer, discussing the link between ocular surface and contact lens materials.

The company’s Sponsor Session; A lens to start in and stay in will see associate clinical professor Kathy Dumbleton, joined by Tim Grant, Dr Inma Perez and Dr Rick Weisbarth to introduce Alcon’s Precision1 contact lens, while the Water surface contact lenses session will see Dr John Pruitt summarise water surface technologies, highlighting the differences and benefits for wearers.

During the event, the company will present data from studies on Total30, a lens featuring an innovative water gradient material with biomimetric Celligent technology. The lens is expected to be introduced into the US and select European markets in 2021, with broader worldwide rollout planned for 2022.

Cheryl Donnelly, international head of professional affairs at Alcon, said: “We are delighted to partner with the BCLA to present our robust scientific data on several of our products, notably on TOTAL30, which is designed to address two of the key factors to maximise contact lens wearer retention: comfort and vision.”

CooperVision’s presentations across the event will be focusing on key areas where it suggests innovation and scientific research can help bring “new and enhanced opportunities for eye care professionals in practice.”

More than 20 CooperVision-authored or sponsored research posters were also accepted by the conference committee. Krupa Patel, head of professional services UK & Ireland at CooperVision, said: “It’s a privilege to not only be a platinum sponsor of this year’s BCLA, but also to have the opportunity to present an unprecedented amount of scientific content.”

Myopia management will form a key focus for CooperVision during the event, presenting a number of papers to aid understanding of myopia management, as well as children’s acceptance. The Predicting the myopes of the future session, powered by CooperVision, will be hosted by Dr Sarah McCullough and Professor Nicola Logan.

Latest insights on presbyopia, and the opportunities available for managing presbyopia will also be on the agenda, with a dedicated session; Presbyopia – Perceptions, along with a number of papers on the topics of the complexity of living with presbyopia, perceptions of fitting multifocal contact lenses, and consumer attitudes towards presbyopia and motivations for contact lens wear. CooperVision will also be previewing its latest addition to the MyDay family of contact lenses: the MyDay daily disposable multifocal.

Finally, CooperVision will be presenting insights with the aim of supporting eye care professionals to build a thriving practice, including a number of papers that explore the perceptions of contact lens wearers on the use of digital technology in practice, with teleoptometry as part of the journey, and an investigation of the impact on new contact lens wearer retention after the introduction of a patient support tool.

Johnson & Johnson Vision
Johnson & Johnson Vision will be hosting two presentations and a series of talks and research papers during the show. More details on these can be found through the company’s microsite. 

Key presentations delivered by the company include The vision behind the tears, hosted by Professor Jennifer Craig, head of ocular surface laboratory, University of Auckland, and Charles Scales, digital health and analytics lead for Johnson & Johnson Vision, reviewing the impact of tear film quality on visual experience and how to mitigate a loss of homeostasis in contact lens wearers.

The company will deliver a session on Maintaining a lifetime of contact lens wear, presented by Dr Greg Williby, principal engineer, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, and David Ruston, director, global professional education and development at Johnson & Johnson Vision, who will provide an insight into the Acuvue Oasys Multifocal with Pupil Optimised Design for patients with presbyopia.

Through the Sponsor Sessions, Johnson & Johnson Vision will host a session on Toric contact lenses – covering all angles with Dr Rachel Hiscox, professional education and development manager, UK & Ireland, Johnson & Johnson Vision.

Johnson & Johnson Vision will also present eight research papers and posters, with topics including myopia management, materials, maintaining safe and comfortable contact lens wear, anatomy and physiology.

Sandra Rasche, area vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson Medical, shared: “We have always been focused on supporting eye care practitioners and their patients with eye-inspired innovations and we are excited to share some of our latest work at this year’s BCLA conference.”