The Round at Beaverton Central entered a new dimension on Thursday, Oct. 6, as Pacific University showcased its newest full-service eye care center, one that features the world's first 3D performance eye clinic.
The grand opening celebration of EyeClinic Beaverton operated by the university's College of Optometry, brought into focus the power of collaboration among experts in a number of fields. The 3D Performance eye clinic, housed inside EyeClinic Beaverton, is equipped to diagnose and treat eye coordination problems that affect 3D vision.
It employs state-of-the-art technology, including a movie theater for one, to measure binocular vision performance (both eyes working together).
“The 3D Performance EyeClinic is the first-ever clinic that specializes in diagnosing and managing the eye and health-related symptoms related to viewing 3D electronic displays,” said Dr. Jim Sheedy, director of Pacific’s Vision Performance Institute (VPI), a research arm of the College of Optometry.
Healthcare, technology and civic leaders reveled in the clinic's potential to change the way researchers discover, manufacturers develop and consumers benefit from 3D products and services.
Among them were Pacific College of Optometry Dean, Dr. Jennifer Smythe; University President, Dr. Lesley Hallick; Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle; American Optometric Association President, Dr. Dori Carlson; AOA Associate Director for Health Sciences and Policy, Dr. Michael Duenas; THX Senior Vice President and 3D@Home Consortium Chair Rick Dean; Intel Principal Engineer Philip Corriveau; and NIKE Global Research Director for Vision Science, Dr. Alan Reichow.
Doyle, who a week earlier was on hand to celebrate the world's first environmentally green service station, also in Beaverton, said Pacific's clinic is of great benefit to the city.
"This is step one, the opening of this facility, to build on (Beaverton's) education reputation," Doyle said. "To help our citizens, as well as our businesses and the region."
Carlson, a Pacific alumna and the first female president in the 113-year history of the AOA, said the 3D clinic holds promising potential to identify vision problems in children and lead to better learning outcomes early on.
"What we do to help children now makes a huge difference in their lives later on," she said. "And clinics like this one will give kids every chance to learn well because they can see well."
Duenas added that the clinic represents an unchartered frontier in both the health and technology sectors.
"What you see behind you offers the boldest transformational opportunities that we have witnessed in vision and eye health in the last century and a half," he said.
Sheedy said the emergence of 3D into so many different parts of one's life has spurred a sense of urgency in researching its effects on its users vision and balance.
"The virtual 3D environment provides many unique challenges to the visual system, including vision and vertigo-related symptoms," he said. "There is much yet to be known about the interaction between the human visual system and the virtual 3D environment created by 3D displays."
Sheedy added, “The clinic offers treatment, including prismatic and 3D polarized prescriptions, which allow patients with 3D difficulties to comfortably view 3D as they never could before.”
THX and Intel are among several corporate partners whose collaborative efforts turned the revolutionary vision of the clinic into reality.
As a key player in furthering the development of 3D for an enriched consumer experience and having the only performance benchmark available for 3D hardware today, THX provided its proficiency and advice in building the 3D movie theater, recruited a variety of A-list technology partners to donate THX Certified equipment and managed calibration of the room to produce a unique, world-class 3D research facility.
“As 3D technology continues to mature, the need for research on the 3D environment and the unique challenges it creates to the human visual system is top of mind to THX," Dean said.
"THX looks forward to participating in the research findings that evolve from Pacific University’s new 3D Performance Eye Clinic and hopes to use the new insight to drive the development of technologies and techniques to enhance the consumer 3D experience within entertainment as well as future applications.”
Intel contributed toward the testing protocols that will be used in treating patients in the 3D performance clinic.
"This clinic is a game changer for ourselves, our children and our next generation," Corriveau said. "3D is here to stay, and it's our job to leverage every possible aspect of that technology to solve vision problems."
NIKE, a major sportswear and equipment supplier, has loaned equipment for testing sports vision performance. Reichow, also a Pacific optometry alumnus and former faculty member, said the 3D clinic will measure the vision performance of NIKE athletes in addition to the general public.
"NIKE is proud to partner with Pacific and be able to send its best athletes to this clinic if they need to have an exam or need care," Reichow said.
Additionally, Vision Service Plan (VSP) Global and subsidiaries Marchon Eyewear and Eye Designs contributed equipment, design services and cash to support the clinic.
And LG and Planar Systems have contributed display systems and touch screen monitors in this state-of-the-art, technologically-rich environment.
In addition to 3D vision treatment, Pacific EyeClinic Beaverton provides comprehensive eye services to patients, including primary care, contact lens fitting, vision field testing, treatment of infections, foreign objects removal, retinal photography and imaging and vision field exams.
Exams are performed by University optometry students under the careful supervision of licensed optometrists.
"We are also about educating students," Smythe said. "And I am really proud we have built this facility. Not only are we able to provide vision care for people who live and work in Beaverton, but we are doing it in a setting in which our students have the ability to learn with the most high-tech equipment."
Smythe thanked all who played a role in the development of EyeClinic Beaverton, including Sheedy; Associate Dean of Clinic Programs, Dr. Ken Eakland; and clinic director, Dr. Ami Halvorson.