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Connect and Assess: Two critical constants in improving vision science

SriniVas Sadda, MD

President & Chief Scientific Officer

Among my colleagues, I deeply value the commitment to accelerating research and improving outcomes in ophthalmology. Finding this genuine dedication in clinics and labs on every trip I make, on every continent, gives me great confidence in the power of connecting scientists globally.

But connecting was only the subtext of my recent trip to Singapore.

Officially, I visited Singapore to provide an assessment of the eye care, vision science research, and ophthalmic training programs at the major academic institutions there, including Singapore National Eye Centre / Singapore Eye Research Institute, National University Hospital, and the NHG Eye Institute at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.  Singapore enjoys an excellent standard of health care relative to the country’s small population. The government supports all three institutes engaged in ophthalmologic work, which serve the in-country population and act as teaching and learning centers for doctors throughout Asia.

The world-class training and infrastructure in Singapore’s health care stays relevant with constant fine-tuning. Connected by one of our good friends and collaborators Gemmy Cheung (and also a former Doheny fellow, Colin Tan), I was invited by the Ministry of Health as an expert assessor. My role was to observe, assess, and offer feedback. By comparing and contrasting systems and approaches, the conversation was primarily about providing insights to aid in achieving operational efficiency at every level.

The trip was also a tremendous learning opportunity for me. Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, a variant of the more common macular degeneration we see in the West, is treated much more frequently in Singapore than in the US. So during my clinical visits, I was able to observe patient treatment in many more cases than I would see during an entire year at home. I note this to let you know that I embarked on this trip, and every trip I take on behalf of Doheny, inspired by the opportunity for an exchange. While it is a privilege to bring information and ideas from our own institute, it is equally important for me to look, think and gain a greater understanding of what our Doheny doctors can try, and can expect, based on the work of colleagues around the world.

Growing Interest in IntRIS

A brief update on our recently formed International Retinal Imaging Symposium (IntRIS). Following our inaugural meeting in Los Angeles early this year, the  initiative has already attracted over 100 applications for membership, and plans for the 2019 Symposium are underway. The creation of this specialized group indicates a desire for on-going collaboration as imaging technologies quickly advance, continuously changing our practice and research.

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