New Online Pediatric Resource for Eye Doctors

The ophthalmology association looks to reach doctors and parents of patients in all corners of the world through a new online resource.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) launched a new online resource to help eye doctors worldwide care for children with ocular diseases and disorders.

The Pediatric Ophthalmology Learning Center is designed to help improve care for the 19 million visually impaired children worldwide with a focus on low-resourced areas.

“My hope is that this portal can help children, and at the end of the day, help society in terms of these conditions,” Dale Fajardo, AAO’s vice president for education, said in an interview with Associations Now. “Hopefully they’ll be able to live a better life.”

The resource, funded by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, is part of the academy’s Ophthalmic News & Education (ONE) Network and is available for free to doctors and the general public, unlike the other resources on the portal that are available to members only.

The network as a whole reaches 140 countries and is translated into eight languages. But AAO hasn’t yet translated the pediatric resource, though it allows for translation through Google Translate. The resource is available anywhere with internet connection and is currently mostly in English.

The learning center offers reference guides on diagnostic and treatment information, video demonstrations of surgical techniques and diagnosis, interactive simulators, and virtual patient cases, among other written resources.

Nearly 200 volunteer experts and opinion leaders in ophthalmology from around the world contributed by providing full publications, photos, and more than 100 videos.

“They donated their time because the amount of passion for dealing with children—there’s a lot of passion in that area, and we just saw that people were just giving us content,” Fajardo said.

To make this media-rich resource as accessible as possible, the academy built the media in an easily downloadable format that doesn’t require plug-ins, made it mobile friendly, used a server with a wider geographic reach, and hosted a video player that’s able to lower the resolution. Even better, once the information is downloaded on a machine, the user doesn’t need an internet connection to run it.

“The Academy is committed to continually augmenting the online educational content available to ophthalmologists,” Fajardo said in a statement. “The new Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center within the ONE Network bolsters this innovative offering by equipping eye physicians and surgeons with the specialized tools and information they need to fight the growing threat of visual impairment in children.”


Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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