Future of retina education may be in the metaverse


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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The metaverse can provide new opportunities for education in retina, according to a speaker at the Retina World Congress.

S.K. Steven Houston III, MD, said the pandemic propelled virtual education forward. However, Zoom and two-dimensional webinars were just the initial entry into virtual education.



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The metaverse can provide new opportunities for education in retina, according to a speaker at the Retina World Congress.


“The technology is moving forward,” he said. “I think education is going to continue to push forward with it.”

S.K. Steven Houston III, MD

S.K. Steven Houston III

Houston said there has been an effort to bring surgical education into the metaverse to take advantage of spatial computing advances that have come over the last few years. In the metaverse, top specialists can meet from anywhere in the world, interact with each other and provide their expertise, he said.

The immersive experience provided by hardware like the Oculus devices from Meta or the Apple Vision Pro give virtual conference attendees the chance to have real-time communication in three-dimensional virtual environments.

“It really stimulates that environment of all of us being here and being in the same space together,” Houston said.

Pairing the virtual meeting spaces with three-dimensional, heads-up systems allow for simultaneous streaming of surgery in the metaverse. Houston and colleagues are planning on hosting 24 hours of live streamed surgery from around the globe on Oct. 10 for World Site Day.

“This is what we see as the potential future of where education is going,” Houston said. “It’s not about getting rid of experiences, conferences like this this, but more acting as an adjunct and allowing us to really push things forward.”

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