All India ophthalmological conference – 2017, Jaipur
Established in the year 1930, the All India Ophthalmological Society recently conducted its prestigious 75th Platinum Jubilee All India Ophthalmic Conference-2017 from 16th to 19th February at the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre, Jaipur. The conference had a huge registration of 8200 delegates. Though the local organizing committee under chief organizing secretary, Dr. Virendra Agrawal had relatively short notice regarding the shift of the venue from Ahmedabad to Jaipur, AIOC-2017 was a tribute to their organizational skills. The sprawling grounds of the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre was an excellent venue with more than 20 meeting venues and large exhibition halls.
With the academic deliberations spread out over 14 halls through 308 scientific sessions, attendees had a plethora of choice. There were a total of 142 instruction courses with 60+ international guest faculty and 1086 speakers. Other than the numerous interesting instruction courses, debates were a highlight. Topics such as superiority of intracameral phaco (with the need for good higher end machines, good OVD and new techniques) or SICS for hard cataract surgery didn’t arrive at any conclusion. There seemed to be agreement that PDEK using Soosan Jacob’s air pump assisted PDEK and E-PDEK techniques made PDEK superior to DSAEK and DMEK. . The debate regarding the preference and safety of intracameral irrigating fluids favored BSS plus as more superior than BSS and RL only in special situations such as endothelial compromise or prolonged surgery.
There was no clear consensus on the superiority of BSS to RL for routine phaco and the August 2016 Government of India guideline that stated that either BSS or RL could be used for regular cases was quoted. The Court Martial, OPL and the Big Stand Off were other attractions which combined effective ophthalmic teaching with fun and an informal atmosphere. National and International symposia were worth attending. Interesting topics in the national symposia included differentiating endophthalmitis from TASS by Rajeev Sukumaran, social and medico-legal aspects of dealing with single or cluster endophthalmitis by D Ramamurthy, myopia in children by AR Banerjee and ROP post the Supreme court decision by Anand Vinekar. The international symposia included useful information on the ICO as well as interesting pediatric situations by the AIOS-WSPOS. The AIOC-2017 was a great opportunity for new young talent as of the 1086 speakers, 638 were new speakers. Sponsored lunch time symposia, ophthalmic sizzlers and the FDC quiz were other highlights. The top 15 innovations of 2016 included preservative free drug delivery, the Wavikar-Saurabh toric tool, PEARL inlay for presbyopia, adaptive optics, mathematical modelling and artificial intelligence for outcome prediction etc.
The EyeShala 2017 – a postgraduate teaching program, was conducted on 15th February as part of AIOC 2017 and had Basic and Advanced Ophthalmology modules to meet differing requirements of postgraduates at different levels of their training. The SSTC (Surgical Skill Transfer Courses) had 30 hours of practical training sessions with 20 courses ranging from basic and advanced phaco, SICS, toric IOLs, phakic and iris fixated IOLs, ICRS, CXL, LASIK, pupil expanders, aesthetics, ocular prosthetics, glaucoma valves, YAG laser, anterior and core vitrectomy and lacrimal intubation. More than 650 delegates registered for these courses and were awarded certificates.
There were also wetlabs especially useful for post-graduate students which taught various diagnostic modalities such as the visual field analyzer, slit lamp examination techniques, gonioscopy, applanation tonometry, fundus examination with the 90D and the indirect ophthalmoscope, retinal green lasers, OCT, fundus photography and angioscopy, ultrasonography, IOL power calculation etc. The TSTC (Technological Skill Transfer Courses) provided information to practicing Ophthalmologists about integration of newer technology such as smartphone slitlamp photography and fundus videography; smart apps; recording, archiving & editing surgical videos etc. Other very useful sessions were on Practice Management Software’s (EMR), OT Designing & Protocols, NABH Accreditation, the Open House Leadership Development Program as well as training session for effective teaching techniques aimed at teachers in Ophthalmology. The subspeciality capsules aimed at giving the comprehensive Ophthalmologist an overall outlook at the various advances in different sub-specialities. All AIOS members received the AIOS Ready Reckoner in Ophthalmology as a gift.
There were 253 video films, 292 free papers, 396 physical posters and 909 E-posters on display with 25 best state paper awardees and 29 AIOS awardees. The AIOS CS Reshmi Best Video award went to Raksha Rao for her video on transconjunctival orbitotomy, the AIOS Col. Rangachari award was won by Sri Ganesh for his work on Femtosecond Intrastromal Lenticule Implantation + KXL for keratoconus and the ET Selvam award for the best Scientific poster by Ramanuj Samanta for his poster on aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity. The South Zone team comprising of Karthik Srinivasan, Deepak Megur and Ashwin Mohan were the winning team at the Think Under The Apple Tree session and Ayan Mohanta from East Zone won the Newton of the Year award. The innovators were awarded Apple iPad, iPhone and iPods. The post graduate thesis based competition saw Simar Ranjan Singh and Siddharth Narendran getting the first and second prizes respectively. The third prize was shared by Natasha Gautam, Soham Basak and Ganesh Pillai. The AIOS heroes who won awards in international meetings, and who were recognized internationally for international patents and great innovations were honored.
The designated trade areas had more than 200 exhibitors offering their wares and were thronged with eye care professionals, right from students to individual and group practitioners to corporate representatives. The most recent advancements in eye care were available on display right from the OCT angiography to the latest in cataract and refractive surgery. There were 50 trade sponsors for the AIOC-2017.
With record breaking online voting, residual vote casting at the venue was limited and election results were out very soon. Dr. KS Santhan Gopal (President), Dr. Ajit Babu Majji (President Elect), Dr. S Natarajan (Vice President), Dr. Namrata Sharma (Hony. General Secretary), Dr. Rajesh Sinha (Hony. Treasurer), Dr. Santosh G Honavar (Editor-Journal), Dr. Arup Chakrabarti (Editor-Proceedings) Dr. Lalit Verma (Chairman Scientific Committee) and Dr. Partha Biswas (Chairman ARC) form the new Governing Council of the AIOS.