Ophthalmology Innovation Laboratory | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Ophthalmology Research Ophthalmology Innovation Laboratory

Ophthalmology Innovation Laboratory

Blindness remains a major health problem and cause of disability that could result in significant hardship on affected individuals, families, and society at large. The rapid development of new technologies and innovations provides an opportunity for research and development to improve blindness prevention.

The mission of the Ophthalmology Innovation Laboratory is to research, develop, and implement teleophthalmology, artificial intelligence (AI), and other innovations at NYU Langone to serve our patients’ needs and pioneer blindness prevention. Our vision is to transform the delivery of eye care and achieve leadership in patient care, research, education, and advocacy in the cause of blindness prevention.

Our goals are as follows:

  • create and build the top innovation, teleophthalmology, and AI division at NYU Langone’s Department of Ophthalmology
  • initiate research and development of best practices in teleophthalmology and AI
  • implement teleophthalmology and AI and other innovations in patient care throughout NYU Langone
  • launch a system-wide program for blindness prevention and expand it throughout New York City and New York state, screening for the four leading causes of blindness
  • establish a curriculum for innovation, teleophthalmology, and AI for medical students and residents
  • establish an ophthalmology fellowship in innovation, teleophthalmology, and AI

We also look for opportunities to collaborate with other departments and groups at NYU Langone in telemedicine, AI, and innovations.

Monthly Innovation Meeting

In 2019, we launched a monthly innovation meeting in the Department of Ophthalmology. Some of our goals for this meeting are as follows:

  • provide understanding of the innovation process
  • present innovation challenges and opportunities
  • build on each other’s ideas as innovations are the collective wisdom, intelligence, and experience of people
  • foster collaboration between like-minded clinicians and researchers throughout NYU Langone

Innovation Fellowship

In 2020, Lama A. Al-Aswad, MD, MPH, vice chair for innovations in the Department of Ophthalmology and director of teleophthalmology, AI, and innovations, launched the innovation fellowship, a yearlong training program that focuses on innovations in ophthalmology. The training includes product development, technology transfer, teleophthalmology innovations, AI, and big data, to name a few. Fellows participate in biweekly data management meeting, monthly innovations meeting, an annual AI resident and fellow curriculum, and a biannual teleophthalmology and AI meeting. Fellows can also optionally participate in the MS in Biomedical Informatics.

To apply to the innovation fellowship, please send your CV and a personal statement to Dr. Al-Aswad at lama.al-aswad@nyulangone.org.

Our current projects include creating a teleophthalmology mobile unit (TOMU) and a kiosk for screening, management, and diagnosis of the four leading causes of blindness; implementing teleophthalmology home monitoring projects; and building an ophthalmology data bank to be used in AI research and development.

Contact Us

The Ophthalmology Innovation Laboratory is led by Dr. Al-Aswad. You can contact her at lama.al-aswad@nyulangone.org.

You can also contact Vipul Patel, lab manger and IT, at vipul.patel2@nyulangone.org or Jennifer Alcantara-Castillo, clinical trial coordinator, at jennifer.alcantara-castillo@nyulangone.org.