Virtual education in retina will help ‘break geographic barriers’ as technology progresses


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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Virtual education will provide more opportunities for collaboration and networking for retina specialists, according to a speaker here.

By embracing trends in virtual education, the retina field will “break geographic barriers with low cost,” Jorge C. P. Rocha, MD, PhD, said at the Retina World Congress.



Retina

Virtual education will provide more opportunities for collaboration and networking for retina specialists, according to a speaker here.
Image: Adobe Stock


“Many of the people here I met first virtually, became friends with virtually and just met in-person for the first time here today,” he said.

Rocha highlighted the growing numbers of attendees for meetings with virtual components and used the RWC Education Live Film Festival as an example, which included 1,262 participants across more than 100 countries during the first iteration of the meeting after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jorge Rocha

Jorge C. P. Rocha

In a survey conducted by Rocha and colleagues which included 128 participants across 33 countries, 60% answered that they would prefer viewing RWC Education Live virtually via a recorded session compared to a live session, and 80% answered that they normally stay for the entire session. In addition, almost 100% of responders said that the platform was an important tool for learning about new data and surgical advances.

“This virtual space transformed education everywhere, and this seems to be continuing because the technology is going to continue [to grow],” Rocha said. “We will have new ways to spread more education with lower cost.”

Because technology will not stop progressing, Rocha explained that it is important to find a balance between virtual and in-person education.

“Both are going to co-exist, and are going to help us to improve science,” he said

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