Introduction – The Most Important Square Inch

James Loughman, Clinical Research Director for Ocuco Ltd.

These are exciting times for professionals involved in delivering comprehensive eye care. Training is better, standards of care are higher, and our depth of knowledge has never been greater. Life in the 21st century post-information age has seen the emergence of our “knowledge society”, in which modern healthcare is changing radically and rapidly. Therein lies a critical challenge for practitioners and patients. The knowledge era of Google and Wikipedia, of the smartphone and the iPad, has fundamentally altered knowledge creation such that people are now more informed and more misinformed than ever before. The challenge for eye care professionals, parents, and patients is to evaluate new research, new therapies, new devices, new procedures and guidelines, and decide how these relate to clinical practice and daily life.

It is increasingly difficult for busy eye health practitioners to stay up-to-date and to distil the important from the irrelevant within the ever-changing information available. The scope of practice for optometry is increasing globally, which brings increasing responsibility, pressure and demands from patients, regulatory bodies and society. People often find it difficult to know what information is reliable and to know who to trust with their eye health.

As Director of the Centre for Eye Research Ireland, a research facility dedicated to advancing eye care and preventing blindness, I would like to provide an information resource that is relevant and reliable, quick and easy to read but of interest to those of us fascinated by eyes, those worried about their vision or those just curious for more knowledge.

I’m delighted to announce the launch of The Irish Eye, a blog dedicated to the most important square inch. A weekly post will feature a short but insightful review of the relevant topics in eye care, tell you what’s currently on the global eye health agenda, and, most important, what to make of it.

The posts will fall into various categories including Myopia Control, Nutrition for Eye Health, Technology Development and Emergent Research to name but a few. This information resource, delivered in blog form, reflects the core values of my team to provide the best care for our eyes, to translate from reactive to proactive eye care, and to promote the profession of optometry as the primary eye care profession.

I hope you will enjoy it, interact with it and by all means share your opinion on it.

Prof. James Loughman

James Loughman is the Clinical Research Director for Ocuco Ltd. An Optometrist with more than 20 years of clinical, academic, research and management experience, James recently joined Ocuco as Clinical Research Director. James is also presently the Director of the Centre for Eye Research Ireland, a research facility based in the Dublin Institute of Technology, the same university where he received his PhD in 1997; James oversees a portfolio of research including technology development and big data analytics projects alongside various clinical trials for the control of myopia, glaucoma and other blinding conditions.

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