By Hayley Coates, Ophthalmic Imager, Bury St Edmunds.
The Ophthalmic Imaging Association (OIA) Conference attracts ophthalmic science practitioners, photographers, technicians, optometrists and ophthalmologists from around the UK and was a perfect networking opportunity for those in the ophthalmic imaging field.
The first morning was slightly different from previous years, with interactive workshops from the trade. These hands-on practical sessions gave audience members an opportunity to get to grips with the fantastic and rapidly developing technology now available in ophthalmology, from Aqueous Flare Meters to OCT-A and so much more. In-between lectures, the trade show was constantly open for delegates to get further hands-on experience with the technology.
There were many interesting and captivating lectures throughout the weekend including ROP, glaucoma, eye tracking and even ophthalmology in Bangladesh and America, two very contrasting talks. Mr Niall Patton from Manchester Royal Eye Infirmary was the Friday keynote speaker, giving an insight into current advances in ophthalmology. Karren Visser, herself visually impaired, was the keynote speaker on Saturday showcasing a remarkable insight into ‘Sensory Photography: an exploration’. Her wonderful images were presented with a fascinating talk on acquiring images with a visual impairment.
A highlight of the programme saw Dr John Mould, Veterinary Ophthalmologist, receive an honorary fellowship and provide another fantastically informative talk on ‘Triumph and disaster in veterinary ophthalmology’ including some wonderfully grisly photos.
As always, in addition to the scientific programme, the Friday evening reception was followed by a 1980s themed conference dinner and live band, where the annual OIA/Topcon imaging competition winners were announced. The posterior segment image by Abbey Tufft from Sheffield Teaching Hospital was the overall winner, scooping an all-expenses paid trip to the ICOP conference in Rotterdam in April 2020. Congratulations to Abbey!
The whole event was very well received as a valuable, stimulating and enjoyable weekend, particularly for networking with other like-minded individuals in the ophthalmic imaging field and discovering the new technology now available.
The 2020 conference will be held in Nottingham in November. OIA will also be represented at Optrafair (4 April 2020), when Colin Clements and Rosalyn Painter are presenting ‘The importance of ocular imaging and related ophthalmic sciences’.