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As Doctors Limit Access, Pharma Taps Viscira for Simulations

Veteran ophthalmologist Dr. Richard M. Wong has treated dozens of patients for macular degeneration, an age-related disease that leads to blindness. Though he trained with detailed drawings and photographs of the retina while he was a resident in 1996, he never learned what the condition was like from the patient’s point of view.

So in 2008, he jumped at the chance to don a special pair of goggles for a 3-D simulation at an exhibitor’s booth at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting in Atlanta. He saw shadows that grew darker, expanded into puddles, and ultimately flowed together to become seas of darkness. “It was disconcerting and very unnerving,” says Dr. Wong, who practices in Stockton, Calif. Understanding what patients experience “is a very underserved idea,” he says, “but it’s super helpful and timely ...."