Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry recently partnered with Lumenis to provide training to students in cutting-edge laser therapy treatments.

Lumenis in April 2021 provided access and hands-on training with the Smart Selecta Duet and the new Digital Duet, the first digital SLT-YAG platform on the market. In addition, Dr. Selina R. McGee of Precision Vision Edmond in Edmond, Oklahoma, delivered a virtual lecture on Lumenis’ Optima IPL, the leading intense pulsed light (IPL) system.

WesternU College of Optometry student Giovanna Giovannone (left) receives instruction from Professor Pinakin Davey, PhD, OD, FAAO. (Jeff Malet, WesternU)

“SLT has become first-line therapy in management of glaucoma. Teaching the Ocular Disease-Glaucoma course, I know our students get sufficient theoretical knowledge, and we recognized they would gain a great deal through the addition of hands-on experience,” said WesternU College of Optometry Professor Pinakin Davey, PhD, OD, FAAO. States boards vary on whether SLT and IPL are included in the optometry scope of practice, but Dr. Davey expects optometrists’ capabilities to expand. “The number of states that allow optometrists to perform these procedures is increasing—schools should prepare students to practice at full scope in the future.”

Partnering with Lumenis was a very logical choice, according to Davey. Lumenis is a global leader in the field of minimally invasive clinical solutions for the surgical, ophthalmology and aesthetic markets, and is a world-renowned expert in developing and commercializing innovative energy-based technologies. The company is the inventor of SLT technology and maker of the first IPL device made specifically for eye care.

College of Optometry student Niloufar Jafari learns how to use the Lumenis Smart Selecta Duet Advanced Platform. (Jeff Malet, WesternU)

During training, students learned about each device and received a rubric of all the procedures they needed to complete in the Surgical Eye Care lab. Rotating among four different stations in pairs, they practiced treatment on model eyes. For example, students performed selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which increases drainage in the eye to manage glaucoma. The Digital Duet allows multiple students to observe SLT and other procedures without the limitation of a single observation tube.

“Learning about a procedure in class is different than getting hands-on experience. Now we know how it’s done and what’s really happening (in the eye),” said WesternU College of Optometry student Nilou Jafari.

WesternU College of Optometry Founding Dean Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DrPH, added, “WesternU College of Optometry takes such a strong and forward-looking approach to educating tomorrow’s optometrists. We are grateful to the Lumenis team for showing the same dedication through this partnership. The success of this event hopefully marks the beginning of many more training opportunities that can benefit both our students and alumni.”