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Subspecialties Business and Innovation, Comprehensive, Practice Management

Through the Looking Glass

I have a strong interest in how virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology could play a role in my practice as an ophthalmologist and help the patients we see at the Eye Institute of Alberta. Typically, when I talk with patients about the conditions that they are living with, I’m limited to paper brochures and videos to help demonstrate what to expect with and without treatment.

At the end of 2019, the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Alberta and the Eye Institute of Alberta held its second annual Eye Ball Gala to raise awareness and support for patient care and research. At this event, we had the opportunity to premiere a new virtual experience we called Through the Looking Glass. Through this immersive VR experience, guests at the gala had an opportunity to explore Wonderland and complete tasks while patterns of vision loss were simulated representing what can take place with untreated ocular degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and inherited retinal conditions. 

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About the Author

Karim F. Damji

Professor and Chair at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Alberta; Clinical Section Head for Ophthalmology at the Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services.

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