Myopia institute forms task forces for deeper investigation

Jong
Monica Jong

The International Myopia Institute has formed task forces to follow up its research released in a series of white papers in 2019 and reinforced advocacy efforts to keep myopia a major public eye health issue.

Monica Jong, BOptom, PhD , executive manager of the International Myopia Institute (IMI), told Primary Care Optometry News that the seven task forces will tackle areas of myopia that were not addressed in the first set of white papers but have been identified as areas of urgent need.

The original IMI white papers were published in a special issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in February 2019. They focused on defining and classifying myopia, potential interventions, clinical trials and instrumentation, industry guidelines and ethical considerations, clinical management guidelines, experimental models of emmetropization and myopia, and the genetics of myopia.

In his editorial introducing the reports, Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD, of the Brien Holden Vision Institute and School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, said, “Myopia needed to be recognized as a public health issue if there was to be a change in the approach to this condition, and only a collaborative effort across all eye care professions and researchers could bring this about.”

Jong explained the objectives of the new task forces.

“The impact of myopia [task force] will examine the cost of myopia, its associated ocular complications, social impact and myopia management. Pediatric high myopia will focus on children who are already highly myopic at very young ages and their management,” she said.

“High myopia in adults and their associated complications will examine the evidence for managing progressing adult high myopia and the management pathologic myopia,” Jong continued. “Preferred practice patterns will assess and rank the evidence for each form of myopia intervention to inform management across different settings with various levels of access to interventions.”

She said that other key task forces include environmental risk factors and myopia, accommodation and binocular vision in myopia, and yearly digest, which will comprise an update on the most recent highlights in myopia research for each IMI section.

“These areas are important to further provide the evidence and inform practitioners, public health workers, peak health bodies and policy makers,” Jong said. “Already, advocacy efforts from the IMI have led to the white papers being referenced in the WHO first World Report on Vision and the recognition of harmonized definitions of myopia and high myopia that potentially will be included in future ICD revisions.”

Jong told PCON that the official IMI clinical summaries of the original white papers are now available in English, French, Chinese and Spanish and will soon be available in additional languages including Vietnamese, Nepalese and Swedish. She noted that the Brien Holden Vision Institute is the founder of this work that it is made freely available through support from Alcon, CooperVision, Essilor, Vision Impact Institute and Zeiss. In addition, the IMI participants donate their time, she said. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO


References:

International Myopia Institute White Papers. IOVS. 2019;60(3).


For more information:

Monica Jong, BOptom, PhD, is a senior project manager at Brien Holden Vision Institute. She can be reached at: m.jong@bhvi.org.


Disclosure: Jong reports no relevant disclosures.

Jong
Monica Jong

The International Myopia Institute has formed task forces to follow up its research released in a series of white papers in 2019 and reinforced advocacy efforts to keep myopia a major public eye health issue.

Monica Jong, BOptom, PhD , executive manager of the International Myopia Institute (IMI), told Primary Care Optometry News that the seven task forces will tackle areas of myopia that were not addressed in the first set of white papers but have been identified as areas of urgent need.

The original IMI white papers were published in a special issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in February 2019. They focused on defining and classifying myopia, potential interventions, clinical trials and instrumentation, industry guidelines and ethical considerations, clinical management guidelines, experimental models of emmetropization and myopia, and the genetics of myopia.

In his editorial introducing the reports, Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD, of the Brien Holden Vision Institute and School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, said, “Myopia needed to be recognized as a public health issue if there was to be a change in the approach to this condition, and only a collaborative effort across all eye care professions and researchers could bring this about.”

Jong explained the objectives of the new task forces.

“The impact of myopia [task force] will examine the cost of myopia, its associated ocular complications, social impact and myopia management. Pediatric high myopia will focus on children who are already highly myopic at very young ages and their management,” she said.

“High myopia in adults and their associated complications will examine the evidence for managing progressing adult high myopia and the management pathologic myopia,” Jong continued. “Preferred practice patterns will assess and rank the evidence for each form of myopia intervention to inform management across different settings with various levels of access to interventions.”

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She said that other key task forces include environmental risk factors and myopia, accommodation and binocular vision in myopia, and yearly digest, which will comprise an update on the most recent highlights in myopia research for each IMI section.

“These areas are important to further provide the evidence and inform practitioners, public health workers, peak health bodies and policy makers,” Jong said. “Already, advocacy efforts from the IMI have led to the white papers being referenced in the WHO first World Report on Vision and the recognition of harmonized definitions of myopia and high myopia that potentially will be included in future ICD revisions.”

Jong told PCON that the official IMI clinical summaries of the original white papers are now available in English, French, Chinese and Spanish and will soon be available in additional languages including Vietnamese, Nepalese and Swedish. She noted that the Brien Holden Vision Institute is the founder of this work that it is made freely available through support from Alcon, CooperVision, Essilor, Vision Impact Institute and Zeiss. In addition, the IMI participants donate their time, she said. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO


References:

International Myopia Institute White Papers. IOVS. 2019;60(3).


For more information:

Monica Jong, BOptom, PhD, is a senior project manager at Brien Holden Vision Institute. She can be reached at: m.jong@bhvi.org.


Disclosure: Jong reports no relevant disclosures.