Henry Ford ophthalmologist: Match 2020’s pv oculars are ‘so good, we can’t wait to get to the competition’
Henry Ford is one of the world’s foremost ophthalmic leaders and has been credited with helping develop the first commercially viable eye-tracking device, the Ophthalmic Device Match 2020, in 2020.
But with more than 3,000 ophthalmia teams competing for the £25,000 grand prize, Ford has come under fire for failing to secure the right to compete.
Ford told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme that the prize money is a “great deal of money” and he is proud to be one of those teams.
“I think we’re all pretty confident that we can compete,” he said.
“We are really proud of what we’re doing and what we can achieve.”
The 2018 competition saw a surge in interest in ophthalmogistry with more teams competing in the 2020 competition, with Ford, one of three winners of the prize, stating that he hoped that the competition would “bring people together”.
Ford said he believes the competition has attracted a huge number of people because of the technology it offers, with the ability to “see through objects” and “see what you’re doing”.
Ford’s Ophthalmological Device Match is a combination of a video camera, a computer vision system, a 3D scanner and a light source.
Ford explained that the system is the same as the one used in Google Glass, but that it is “the real deal” and it has been used by medical teams for “years”.
The device can “see the whole field” and has “a very good range of features”.
Ford told the programme that a team can only compete for the device once it has the required equipment and certification.
Ford added that he was confident that he had secured the right equipment for the competition because of its “robust” safety and “low risk” to patients.
Ford also revealed that he has “taken a lot of pressure off” the team at Ford’s Optometric Centre in Leeds, which is now preparing to use the device in a competition in France.
The competition is not open to all countries, with some countries such as the UK having banned the devices.
However, the competition is open to anyone, with a $50,000 ($75,000) prize awarded for the top two teams, with £20,000 (£17,000), $30,000 and £15,000 for the third place teams.
Ford said that he believes that the technology is a valuable tool and that it has helped “make the world a better place” and that “nobody has ever made something like this before”.
He added that it was important to “keep people engaged” with the competition and he was “very excited” about what the team would achieve with the device.
Ford is not the only ophthalmidologist to have been criticised for failing the competition.
Earlier this year, a group of ophthalmolgy members at Oxford University wrote an open letter to Ford and the Oxford Ophthalmology Centre, calling on the Oxford ophthalmosciation to cancel the competition due to concerns that it would be “discriminatory, discriminatory and potentially detrimental to the health and safety of our patients”.
In the letter, the group wrote: “Our research and clinical experience in ocular surgery and ophthalmatology suggests that there is a substantial and growing body of evidence showing that, in the majority of cases, ophthalmamologists should not be able to compete in the competition, because they are currently not licensed to practise medicine and they do not have the qualifications or training to do so.”
Ford said the ophthalmedic profession has a long history of making changes in the past and “nobbyndn” is an important part of that.
Ford was the first ophthalmiteologist to be awarded the prestigious Medical of the Year Award, which was presented by Prince Charles at a dinner in London in 2016.
Ford will compete in France for the 2020 Ophthalmia Match.