100% Optical

On stage at 100% Optical: artificial intelligence in optometry

Wen Hwa Lee, chief executive officer of Action Against AMD, will discuss the potential of artificial intelligence in eye care, and how transformation can be enabled

Wen Hwa Lee
In the lead-up to 100% Optical 2023 in February, OT reached out to a selection of speakers from the education programme to find out more about the sessions on offer, the topics that will be explored, and what visitors can expect. Find the full series, along with further content on 100% Optical on OT’s dedicated page.

What is the focus of your session?

Barely a day passes when we don’t hear how artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to solve the most diverse set of tasks – some mundane, others at the cutting-edge of human endeavours.

AI is not restricted to self-driving cars, production lines or e-commerce recommendations. One of its most promising applications is in healthcare – and ophthalmology is at the forefront of this revolution.

We will be sharing the advances and potentials of AI in eye care, and how AI can further augment the role of optometrists in the healthcare of tomorrow. We will be sharing our vision of a unique collaboration between the public, researchers, charities, and the all-important optometry sector, to enable the enhanced optometrist of the future.

What are some of the key messages you wish to highlight?

There’s an enormous potential in deploying AI, but thus far these have been restricted to hospitals/secondary care – with data needed to attract researchers for ‘disease-care’. If we are to unlock the potential of AI for High Street practitioners, we too need to aggregate optometry data to enable research into earlier stages of multiple conditions and deliver the true ‘health-care’. This can be most efficiently done as a collaboration across different sectors, including charities like Action Against AMD.

The opportunity for critical positioning always opens during fundamental step-changes: we are experiencing one right now, so let’s lead and not be led


Who is this topic for? Who might benefit the most from joining?

This session is for all those in the sector who’d like to learn more about the potential of AI for the optometry sector. But also, for those who are interested in building the healthcare of the future, which has optometry at the forefront of community care – in eye and systemic health.

Why is this topic so important for optometrists to engage with?

With so many advances happening this quickly, it is important for all to be thinking about the roles the optometrist can be playing in a future boosted by technology. The opportunity for critical positioning always opens during fundamental step-changes: we are experiencing one right now, so let’s lead and not be led.

What do you hope the top takeaway will be for attendees?

That the future of care will be focused on maintaining health for as long as possible – this means that the primary care providers like optometrists can be playing an important role. With recent advances in AI and ophthalmic imaging, the optometrists might become the first line of defence not only against eye conditions but also many systemic diseases. However, this is predicated on a collaborative and consented approach with the public for aggregation of ophthalmic data to be used for research aimed at real impact for patients and our society. Action Against AMD and its governing charities would like to invite optometrists to join us in creating the ecosystem for health of the future, through the eye.