Sept. 30, 2020
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) annual meeting has shifted to an online platform including the highly anticipated kick-off press conference. This news event will occur October 7, 2020 from 9-11 a.m.
The entire annual meeting has been renamed Academy 2020 At Home and will take place during select periods between October 7-22. This year’s press conference promises exciting content in a concise new format. AAO, in collaboration with its Scientific Program and Communications Committees, narrowed down hundreds of scientific research abstracts for scientific posters/papers and 25 company applications, to just 10 from each category.
Edward Chu, OD, press conference chair and a member of the Academy’s Communications Committee, said, “This year had so many amazing and deserving presentation submissions that it was extremely difficult to choose. I can tell you these presentations will be some of the best and most newsworthy developments in optometry we’ve seen in a long time.”
The 20 different presenters will be given five minutes each to present their research or technologies, all of which have the potential to change how optometrists practice. Recognizing the limited presentation times, AAO has set up a special e-mail address so media representatives can ask questions and/or schedule interviews with presenters. To use this service, please contact AAO’s media team during or after the presentations at: email@example.com.
In addition to the press conference, Academy 2020 At Home will offer “live” COPE continuing education (CE) approval, speaker coordination and a broad, insightful experience for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. In this new virtual format, the Academy will be able to deliver nearly 300 hours of continuing education (CE) and for the first time ever, participants can earn up to 80 hours of CE credits. In a traditional in-person meeting, attendees were limited to 34 hours of CE credits. For those attendees who register, including media, the entire event will be available virtually on-demand until December 31.
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The Academy’s annual meeting attracts the world’s leading optometrists, scientists, vision care professionals, students, support personnel and media. This year’s meeting will feature an important Plenary Session entitled A New Look at Some Old Medical Guidelines, looking at how standards of care and diagnostic standards have changed significantly over the past several years, and the impacts of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and other common ailments on patient care moving forward. The Academy will also host a special symposium on diversity, equity and inclusion. This event co-presented by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), and the National Optometric Association (NOA) will promote a basic understanding of the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in optometric education and clinical practice.
Additional headlining virtual events include an exciting look into the near future of optometry during the 2020 Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium. Participants will offer insight on how robotics and smart technology are increasingly important in optometry. Leading researchers will discuss the coming use of socially assistive robotics for patients in need of vision rehabilitation, and potential impacts on in-office appointments. They will also discuss autonomous vehicles which offer significant potential to increase the independence of people with visual impairment. For a deeper look into the future, they’ll dive into the growing science of optometric issues in space, with a presentation by U.S. Navy Captain Tyson Brunstetter, OD, PhD, FAAO, from the Space and Occupational Medicine Branch at NASA Johnson Space Center. He’ll discuss astronaut cases of Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS) and what that means for space travel and the health effects of long-duration spaceflight.
Academy Chief Executive Officer Peter Scott, said, “Academy 2020 At Home promises to bring you the very best clinical and scientific knowledge possible in the optometric world. Hosting it virtually has opened up new, exciting opportunities to present in a more dynamic way, much of it on attendees’ own schedules. We couldn’t be more excited.”
For more information, or to register for Academy 2020 At Home, visit www.academymeeting.org.