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British Congress of Optometry and Visual Science 2020


City, University of London’s Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences was well represented at the congress amongst other speakers and poster presenters from the UK, Australia and India.

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

Sponsored by the College of Optometrists, the annual British Congress of Optometry and Visual Science (BCOVS) is a unique opportunity for postgraduate, postdoctoral and more established academics to experience the diversity and innovation in UK optometry and vision science research.  

The 2020 conference was held last week, virtually through Zoom, making it possible for many more members of the College to attend.

The two day event saw presentations showcasing some of the excellent work that optometrists, orthoptists, ophthalmologists and vision scientists are doing across the UK, and in India and Australia.  

City, University of London’s Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences was well represented at the conference, with the Crabb Lab researcher, Daniel Asfaw, kicking off day one’s vision management session talks with his presentation, ‘Just look at the movie: Can natural eye movements be used to detect visual field loss’.



Slide from Daniel Asfaw’s BCOVS2020 presentation

Crabb Lab Research Fellows Dr Giovanni Ometto and Dr Giovanni Montesano delivered two well received talks on ‘A novel, automated measurement of spontaneous vein pulsation from infrared videos of the optic disc’ and, ‘Revisiting the Drasdo model: implications for structure-function analysis of the macular region’, respectively.

Lecturers in Optometry and Visual Sciences at City also shared their work on day two, including Dr Deanna Taylor’s presentation, 'Tablet-based tests of everyday visual function in a diabetic macular edema (DME) clinic waiting area: A feasibility study'.

Dr Peter Campbell and Dr Tamsin Callaghan presented back to back talks around the EyeCatcher visual field test created by the Crabb Lab, which aims to help inthe home monitoring of people with glaucoma, an eye disease affecting half a million people in the UK.

Image of the 'EyeCatcher' technology

Dr Campbell’s talk focused on a recently published research article in the American Journal of Ophthalmology about the performance of Eye Catcher compared to conventional tests, ‘Glaucoma home-monitoring using a tablet-based visual field test (Eyecatcher): An assessment of accuracy and adherence over six months, whilst Dr Callaghan’s focused on the subjective experience, and feedback of patients who had used EyeCatcher, entitled, 'Acceptability of a home-based visual field test (Eyecatcher) for glaucoma home monitoring: A qualitative study of patients’ views and experiences’.

Keynote Lectures

The congress also welcomed two keynote speakers:

Dr Joanne Wood, Professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at Queensland University of Technology presented on night-time driving and visibility.

Dr Dominic Ffytche, Reader in Visual Psychiatry in the Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London delivered his keynote on Charles-Bonnet Syndrome.

Poster presentations

Online poster sessions were held across both days, grouped into the themes of ‘Measurement’, ‘Applied and Community’, ‘Paediatrics and Myopia’, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and chat with the poster owners.

Jamie Enoch
, Research Fellow at the Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences, received an honourable mention for his poster, ‘What support do informal caregivers of people with visual impairment receive and require? A qualitative study’.

PhD candidate Bethany Higgins shared her poster: ‘Searching for everyday objects and detecting road signs: novel computer-based tasks for assessing everyday visual performance in people with age-related macular degeneration’.

PhD candidate Salma Ahmad also shared her poster: The accessibility of primary eyecare for young children and children with autism in England’.

Reflecting on the event and efforts of City staff and students, David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision Research at City, University of London, and Crabb Lab lead, commented:

I very much thank the organisers of BCOVS for organising such a vibrant and clever virtual meeting. I was delighted to see such a strong contribution from City.

Find out more


Find out more about the event on Twitter.

Visit the Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences at City, University of London

Visit the Crabb Lab, at City, University of London

Visit the Centre for Applied Vision Research, at City, University of London.

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