100% Optical

Utilising simulator technology for optometry training

At 100% Optical, Haag-Streit UK gave OT  a demonstration of its Eyesi Slit Lamp virtual reality simulator technology, discussing the benefits for training

Haag-Streit UK brought its Eyesi Slit Lamp virtual reality simulator to 100% Optical, giving eye care professionals an opportunity to see the technology in action.

Grahame Wood, national sales manager for Haag-Streit UK, described the device as an “exceptional tool for training.”

The courseware-based system develops slit lamp skills with simulated cases.

Gemma Edwards, product manager for Haag-Streit UK, shared: “The idea of this device is it starts off very basic. It teaches you where all the controls are, how to manage it, and what each one does – all the basic functions through to how to examine a healthy eye.”

Using the slit lamp simulator, practitioners can learn and practise using posterior lenses, examining the retina and optic disc, and gonioscopy.

It is currently being used in optometry schools and is also being used to support the training of independent prescribers.

Practitioners can use the simulator to visualise different pathologies and practise techniques, Wood said. He highlighted that, while learning with real patients is an important part of an optometrist’s development: “With things like contact gonioscopy, it is a comfort factor to learn that difficult technique in virtual reality and then transfer those skills to a real patient.”

Up to 150 cases are built into the course, and Edwards demonstrated the process of examining a case.

Each case provides a patient history, getting practitioners used to identifying what the patient is presenting with, and “what you need to associate with the condition,” Edwards said.

“The idea of this device is it's not only showing you what the condition is but showing you signs and symptoms to look for around the condition as well,” she said.

“For some of these conditions, it could be long time before you ever actually see them in clinic, and learning what to look for in each condition can take a while,” Edwards continued. “With this you get to see the classic signs and symptoms with each condition.”

Maintaining a sense of realism, the simulated eyes in each case act like a patient’s eye typically would in an examination – if the light is too bright, the ‘eye’ blinks more.

Edwards shared: “The difficulty in clinic is that the patient is moving, the lens is moving, your arm is getting tired, and it's a lot to learn. It can take a very long time to get proficient at it. The benefit of this is you learn the technique early on and it makes it that bit easier when you come across these patients in clinic.”