Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The era of artificial intelligence and virtual reality: transforming surgical education in ophthalmology
  1. Shaunak K Bakshi1,
  2. Shawn R Lin2,
  3. Daniel Shu Wei Ting3,
  4. Michael F Chiang4,5,
  5. James Chodosh6
  1. 1 Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Ophthalmology, Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3 Vitreo-Retinal Department, Singapore National Eye Center, Singapore, Singapore
  4. 4 Ophthalmology, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  5. 5 Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  6. 6 Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Howe Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to James Chodosh, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA; james_chodosh{at}


Training the modern ophthalmic surgeon is a challenging process. Microsurgical education can benefit from innovative methods to practice surgery in low-risk simulations, assess and refine skills in the operating room through video content analytics, and learn at a distance from experienced surgeons. Developments in emerging technologies may allow us to pursue novel forms of instruction and build on current educational models. Artificial intelligence, which has already seen numerous applications in ophthalmology, may be used to facilitate surgical tracking and evaluation. Within immersive technology, growth in the space of virtual reality head-mounted displays has created intriguing possibilities for operating room simulation and observation. Here, we explore the applications of these technologies and comment on their future in ophthalmic surgical education.

  • Treatment Surgery
  • Medical Education

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors SKB wrote the first draft. SRL, DSWT, MFC, and JC commented on and revised the manuscript. All authors collaborated on the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported in part by an unrestricted grant to the Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY.

  • Competing interests SKB: none. SRL: none. DSWT is the patent holder of a deep learning system for retinal diseases, co-founder and equity holder in the EyRIS Singapore, consultant for Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), and scientific advisory board member for Ocutrx (Irvine, USA) and Optomed (Finland). MFC is a consultant for Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), an equity owner in InTeleretina, LLC (Honolulu, HI), and is supported by NIH grant EY10572 (Bethesda, MD). JC has received travel support from Santen (Osaka, Japan) and consulted for the US Food and Drug Administration. The authors were additionally supported by unrestricted departmental funding to their departments from Research to Prevent Blindness (New York, NY).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Not applicable.