KYCO receives first virtual reality Biomicroscope Simulators in the country

The University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) recently installed virtual reality biomicroscope (slit lamp) simulators in its virtual reality lab. KYCO is the first school in the country to have this state-of-the-art technology from VRmagic (Mannheim, Germany) which will allow students to train, examine and diagnose diseases on simulated-patient eyes.

The biomicroscope simulators launched during the 2018 American Academy of Optometry convention in San Antonio, where many KYCO faculty and staff observed the demonstration of the new technology and it will now be integrated into the clinical methods and anterior segment disease curriculum.

Michael Bacigalupi, O.D., M.S., FAAO, dean of KYCO, believes that, “Virtual reality learning is impactful for our students and will allow them to hone their clinical skills in a safe and realistic environment.”

“Typically, professional students practice clinical procedures on their classmates until they master the skills,” said Bacigalupi. “These simulators will allow our students to see ocular disease conditions from the start. Imagine seeing what a cataract looks like behind this microscope for the first time instead of on a lecture slide in the classroom.”

The slit lamp is one of the most widely used ophthalmological instruments. The sophisticated optical and mechanical system permits high-resolution and highly-magnified examination of the different areas of the eye.

KYCO students will begin getting hands-on experience with the instruments starting in January. This technology will allow KYCO to further its mission of training optometry students to the highest level of clinical care.