What does 2017 have in store for ophthalmology?
In preparing for the new year, Editorial Advisory Board members of Ophthalmology Times weighed in on a few questions about their predictions for how 2017 will impact ophthalmology as a specialty. A special thanks goes out to Samuel Masket, MD, Michael Snyder, MD, Sharon Fekrat, MD, FACS, Robert K. Maloney, MD, MA(Oxon), Richard S. Hoffman, MD, Andrew G. Lee, MD, and Randall J. Olson, MD, and Ernest W. Kornmehl, MD, FACS.
What most surprised/excited you in ophthalmology during this past year?
Dr. Masket: To my sense as an anterior segment surgeon the most exciting developments in 2016 were the release of the Kamra corneal inlay (AcuFocus), the Symfony IOL (Abbott), and the FDA approval of the “SMILE” procedure as all of these represent 3 new areas of technology.
Dr. Snyder: This year, I was most excited by the release of the Hill-RBF artificial intelligence based IOL calculation program. This platform has already provided us with superior results within .5 D of target and as data is added, it will continue to become increasingly accurate. It is also great to have a program that will tell us a priori when the case fits within the highest confidence intervals of the program. In the rare cases where the Hill-RBF does not have enough data to as accurately extrapolate, it will issue an “out of bounds” notice to identify the outlier.
Dr. Fekrat: That we still have to give intravitreal injections every month for retinal diabetic neuropathy.
Dr. Maloney: I was surprised at how good our results were with the new Symfony IOL. We are finding excellent distance vision and surprisingly good near vision.
Dr. Hoffman: I started performing bavacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) injections for macular edema from diabetic retinopathy and AMD. I have found treating these patients to be quite rewarding and look forward to performing more of these procedures in the future.
Dr. Lee: Stem cell initial successes
Dr. Olson: Intratissue Refractive Index Shaping (IRIS)! This has now worked in rabbits and could rapidly make it to patients due to the novel nature of the technology. I see this as a real game changer!