Ophthalmic Trauma, Artificial Intelligence, Disparities Mark Key Themes at AAO 2021

The American Academy of Ophthalmology conference is scheduled to take place in-person and online from November 12-15, 2021.

At a hybrid in-person and online meeting, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) will host its 2021 annual conference from Friday, November 12, through Monday, November 15, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

All attendees at the in-person meeting are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and must wear masks throughout the entire conference.

Both on-demand and live sessions are slated to touch on trends in the field, including improving eye care disparities throughout the United States, how COVID-19 impacted the practice of ophthalmology, and the implications of technology advancements in ophthalmology.

New developments on surgical innovations for ophthalmology and treatments for diseases such as glaucoma, thyroid eye disease (TED), and optic nerve diseases will also be presented.

Several sessions focus on ophthalmic trauma, reflecting a shift in the field in recent years, explained James Auran, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and president of the American Society of Ophthalmic Trauma, in an interview with The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®).

“There's been a tremendous amount of interest [in ophthalmic trauma], and many people have dedicated their lives to it, but they hadn't got the traction until recently,” Auran said. “I guess it just hit a critical point about 2 to 3 years ago and here we are.”

The on-demand session Auran will participate in, “Open Globe Trauma: Surgical Management for the On-Call Ophthalmologist,” is scheduled for Sunday, November 14, 2021, from 3:45 PM - 5:00 pm CDT.

Additional speakers at AAO 2021 will address the current state of pediatric ophthalmology, developments on astigmatism, cataract, and cosmetic procedures, along with physician burnout.

As teprotumumab (Tepezza) is the only and first drug approved for the treatment of TED, several abstracts and sessions will focus on real-world data on adherence and adverse effects reported since its approval in 2020. In one session, Anne Barmettler, MD, director of ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery and associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Montefiore Medical Center, will provide updates on the drug. Her presentation, “Teprotumumab: A Year After FDA Approval—What We Know and What We Don’t Know,” will take place on Sunday, November 14, at 12:12 pm CDT.

Experts also will discuss the advent and utilization of artificial intelligence in ophthalmology at AAO 2021, with presentations emphasizing how it can be integrated into practices and used for screening purposes.