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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, January to March 2020


This year's Optrafair 20/20 guarantees Inspiring Seminars
GOC withdrawers approval for Portsmouth Masters Degree
The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened applications for 2020.
ISCC 2020 welcomes overseas interested scleral fitters
100% Optical 2020, secure your points over the weekend
Publication validates Macular Pigment Assessment
Optrafair Lecture renamed Kanski Lecture in honour of Jack Kanski for Optrafair 20/20
Archived News from October to December 2019 on Exhibition and Education

This year's Optrafair 20/20 guarantees Inspiring Seminars

January 2020

This year the Optrafair 20/20 programme has been put together by a specialised and experienced advisory board to bring you the best education possible.

Optrafair 20/20 is the UK's most diverse exhibition.

Inspiring sessions will cover everything you need to know, with topics including:

• AI
• Contact lenses
• The environment
• Dry eye
• Low vision
• Myopia management
• Lenses
• Ocular imaging
• Audiology

and MUCH more!
Have you registered free yet??

Sessions are filling up - make sure you book your seminars now to guarantee your space!

Register Now HERE and take a look at the educational program.

GOC withdrawers approval for Portsmouth Masters Degree

January 2020

GOC issues withdrawal notice to University of Portsmouth Master of Optometry programme

The General Optical Council (GOC) has announced the withdrawal of provisional approval from the University of Portsmouth’s Master of Optometry programme from 10 January 2020. Education institutions require approval for their qualifications to be recognised for the purposes of GOC registration.

This follows on from a notice of intention to withdraw, which was issued on 9 December 2019. The university was given a month to object to the decision and no objections were received during this time.

As part of the withdrawal decision, the GOC has permitted the current year 4 (level 7) students to receive a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Optometry. This will allow them to continue their studies and undertake a clinical placement under the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration which could lead to registration with the GOC.

A further request has been submitted by the university for the current year 3 (level 6) students to be permitted to undertake further teaching and assessment to achieve a BSc in Optometry. This is being considered by the GOC separately.

GOC Chief Executive and Registrar, Lesley Longstone, said: “The decision to withdraw provisional approval has not been taken lightly. Protecting the public remains at the forefront of our agenda and we have followed robust processes and worked closely with the University to provide the opportunity for them to address our concerns.
Our role as a regulator is to ensure that all regulated education and training meets our standards, and we take regulatory action when those concerns are not resolved. We have notified the Office for Students, the independent regulator for Higher Education in England, regarding our decision.

We recognise this is a difficult time for students and others affected and have been assured by the university that the students’ interests are their top priority.”

The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened applications for 2020.

January 2020

The IOA Silmo International Optician of the Year Award recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of the optimum products for their clientele.

The International Opticians Association (IOA) is an international body dedicated to the enhancement and development of the profession worldwide. It is a strategic partner with Silmo in the development of the profession worldwide.

As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of this award will display the following attributes:

• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care.
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media.
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise.
• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design.
• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics
• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice.
• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours and industry.
• Advocacy - championing the profession of dispensing.

Judging process:

IOA members, country members and industry partners will be able to nominate opticians worldwide. These people will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier. The dossiers will be scrutinised by a panel made up of a number of industry experts. A shortlist of up to four people will be established and the winner will be announced during the prestigious Silmo d’Or ceremony in Paris France. Nominations should be sent to Elaine Grisdale at before April 13th 2020 with a covering letter stating why the person should be considered for this coveted award taking into account the criteria above. A shortlist will then be drawn up after approval from the IOA Board (deadline end of April 2020) and the shortlisted nominees will be contacted to fill in the final dossier for consideration by the special jury. This judging process will be completed by 1 July 2020. The winner will be announced on Saturday 3rd October 2020 at SILMO Paris.

The winner will be announced on the 3rd October 2020 at SILMO Paris. As well as the prestigious award, the winner will also win a trip to Silmo 2021.
To find out more visit

ISCC 2020 welcomes overseas interested scleral fitters

January 2020

The International Cogress of Scelral Contacts congress starts July 24th to 25th 2020in Fort Lauderdale FL USA

What you can expect at the 5th International Congress of Scleral Contacts (ICSC)!

When you join us for this meeting full of rapid fire, highly interactive presentations, you will get an expansion of your existing knowledge and further increase your confidence to fit the latest technology in scleral lenses.

During this two day conference, you can expect to learn more on topics such as upcoming scleral technologies, side effects of sclerals, solutions for fogging, toric peripheral curves, novel scleral uses, unknowns, marketing your practice, crosslinking, ocular surface disease and much more.

ICSC will feature top expert speakers to a very interactive audience of optometrists, Scleral Lens Education Society Fellows, contact lens practitioners, and ophthalmologists. In addition, there will be vendor supported wet labs that will offer the opportunity to gain fitting tips, and the chance to evaluate various products and designs

You can register here or find out more information

100% Optical 2020, secure your points over the weekend

January 2020

Taking place on 25-27 January 2020, at London ExCeL, this year’s 100% Optical will offer a comprehensive educational programme, delivered by the Association of Optometrists (AOP).

Over the three-day event, delegates will have access to a wide range of education, exhibitors and thought-provoking talks from leading industry speakers. A series of CET-accredited sessions will also take place in the AOP lounge (L03) – an AOP led education space.

Highlights include ‘The evolution of patient's needs’ – discussion workshops that are designed for locum practitioners and aim to give attendees, working with patients of all ages, the opportunity to build on skills. Talks aimed at newly-qualified optometrists will also take place, including a peer discussion on how to avoid common pitfalls with Kevin Wallace, AOP Councillor for Scotland.

Dr Ian Beasley, AOP Head of Education, said: “The AOP-led education for 2020 has an emphasis on bringing practitioners together by delivering an extensive range of peer discussions and workshops covering key clinical topics.”

“The programme will also host high profile speakers on the main stage with a 2020 keynote on each of the three days. A series of professional development sessions aimed for the wider practice team ensures there is something for everyone at the event,” he added.

AOP members can benefit from face-to face advice in the form of one-to-one employment, legal and regulatory guidance by speaking to our in-house experts in the AOP lounge (L03).
For all other session bookings, and to register for 100% Optical, delegates should visit the 100% Optical website where, unless they are a student or a lecturer, they should register as a trade visitor. Registration is free.

Publication validates Macular Pigment Assessment

January 2020

New high-caliber publication validates macular pigment assessment with SPECTRALIS®

Prof Joghn NolanThe paper “Standardizing the Assessment of Macular Pigment Using a Dual-Wavelength Autofluorescence Technique”, published in Translational Vision Science & Technology in December 2019, demonstrates how the investigational SPECTRALIS Macular Pigment Optical Volume* (MPOV) measurement provides a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the macular pigment (MP) profile.

Macular pigment has been confirmed as an important dietary variable to enhance and protect visual function, with implications for patients with AMD and other retinal pathologies (1). A challenge for this research has been to standardize the assessment of macular pigment. Previous techniques have been limited because of their inability to provide a full image, their subjectivity and high variability.

This new research work validates the assessment of macular pigment with the investigational dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique of the SPECTRALIS MPOV and introduces a benchmark for the clinical setting. The authors, Marina Green-Gomez, Paul S. Bernstein, Christine A. Curcio, Rachel Moran, Warren Roche and John M. Nolan, state that the SPECTRALIS MPOV “should be considered a preferred metric for the assessment of macular pigment” (2).

The corresponding author, Prof. John M. Nolan, from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland said: “Now that the importance of macular pigment has been verified by substantial clinical studies with positive implications for enhancing visual performance for all populations, including patients with age-related macular degeneration; accurate, validated and standardized measurement of human macular pigment now represents a unique opportunity for eye care. The measurement of macular pigment using the Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS represents the new gold standard for objective assessment of this pigment, and I am sure will empower clinicians to do more for their patients as we prepare for a new standard of vision beyond 2020!"

Beyond proposing that the dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique of the SPECTRALIS MPOV* becomes the gold standard for macular pigment assessment, the authors envision the standardization of macular pigment assessment across research studies and clinical settings as the foundation for normative databases to be created.

For further details, see this direct link to the publication here

Heidelberg will be exhibiting at 100% Optical and Optrafair 20/20 this year.

*SPECTRALIS MPOV is currently under development and not available for sale.

1 Bernstein PS, Li B, Vachali PP, et al. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin: the basic and clinical science underlying carotenoid-based nutritional interventions against ocular disease. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2016;50:34–66.

2 Green-Gomez M, Bernstein PS, Curcio CA, Moran R, Roche W, Nolan JM. Standardizing the assessment of macular pigment using a dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique. Translational Vision Science & Technology December 2019, Vol.8, 41. doi:

Heidelberg are long-time sponsors and supporters of Opchat News allowing us to continue with your free independent news source.

Optrafair Lecture renamed Kanski Lecture in honour of Jack Kanski for Optrafair 20/20

January 2020

Kanski Lecture at Optrafair 20/20
World-class ophthalmologist and author Jack Kanski passed away on 5 January 2019. To honour his life's work, the inaugural Optrafair Lecture has been renamed the Kanski Lecture.

Stuart Burn, Chair of FMO, said: "We are delighted to announce that Optrafair’s keynote lecture from 2020 onwards will now be called The Kanski Lecture. Jack Kanski passed away earlier this year and was one of the world’s foremost optical educationalists. His contribution to optics was immense and Optrafair is thrilled that Jack Kanski’s wife, Valerie, has given her approval to use the Kanski name for its keynote lecture."

The Kanski Lecture has been awarded to leading ophthalmologist Pearse Keane. Having graduated to Master of Science and Doctor of Medicine at University College Dublin, Keane is now consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Clinician Scientist at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Keane will be speaking on the subject: ‘AI and its likely impact on optometry and ophthalmology'.
Free registration for Optrafair 20/20 is open NOW, but sessions are booking up quickly – register free now and save your place before it’s too late.

Keane explains: “The number of eye scans we’re performing is growing at a pace much faster than human experts are able to interpret them. There is a risk that this may cause delays in the diagnosis and treatment of sight-threatening diseases, which can be devastating for patients.

“The AI technology we’re developing is designed to prioritise patients who need to be seen and treated urgently by a doctor or eye care professional. If we can diagnose and treat eye conditions early, it gives us the best chance of saving people’s sight. With further research it could lead to greater consistency and quality of care for patients with eye problems in the future.

“If this technology can be used more widely – in particular by healthcare professionals without computer programming experience – it will really speed up the development of these systems with the potential for significant patient benefits. The process needs refining and regulation, but our results show promise for the future expansion of AI in medical diagnosis.”

Technological change and innovation are the key themes for Optrafair 20/20, which runs from 4 - 6 April 2020 at Birmingham NEC. Optrafair is owned by FMO, whose Chair Stuart Burn and Immediate Past Chair Andy Yorke have secured a host of keynote lectures from industry leaders.

Regarding his lecture, Keane has said: “I will describe the motivation - and urgent need - to apply deep learning to optometry and ophthalmology, the processes required to establish a research collaboration between the NHS and a company like DeepMind, the initial results of our research, and finally, why I believe that optometry and ophthalmology could be fundamentally reinvented through the application of artificial intelligence.”

Minister confirms importance of AI at Moorfields

Confirming the importance of the research at Moorfields, Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: "This is hugely exciting and exactly the type of technology which will benefit the NHS in the long term and improve patient care”.

Optrafair 20/20, the show with it all

We know time out of practice is expensive and a luxury and that is why the organisers of Optrafair 20/20 have created the most important show of the year in the UK with the widest coverage of all things Optical. Under one roof Optrafair 20/20 provides the education and stimulus your practice needs to kickstart the new decade. A complete showing of fashion, ophthalmic lenses and equipment from every leading company plus the key inspirational speakers that you need to here. We will be releasing news stories about this year's exciting show aimed solely at providing dedicated optical professionals the knowledge they want in order to continue to provide the first-class service they do to the public.

If there is only one show to attend this year it has to be Optrafair 20/20 register now and book your seat at the Kanski Lecture straight away.

Optrafair 20/20 takes place on 4-6 April at Birmingham NEC. Register free to catch Pearse Keane in action alongside a host of other industry-leading speakers.

See Opchat news Optrafair stories as we receive them here.


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