The Swiss Academy of Ophthalmology is a national foundation dedicated to quality assurance, research and continuing education in practical ophthalmology. It acts both in a supporting role and primarily as an initiator of projects and new ideas, and it strives to complement the traditional training, teaching and research activities with new means and impulses.
The Foundation is committed to ensure that high standards of quality are maintained in ophthalmological practice, and it works towards integrating all innovative ideas and projects in the existing structures. It is neutral at sectarian, professional and associative levels and from a health policy perspective, and is completely independent, being free from regulatory, institutional and industrial affiliation.
Ophthalmic care in Switzerland is of a high quality. Nevertheless, illnesses can often be steered towards a better prognosis or even staved off by way of targeted prevention, early detection and modern therapy approaches.
This is the SAoO's area of focus. In addition to the promotion of research and advanced training, we are concerned with supporting ophthalmological practice and equipping primary points of contact with the relevant specialist knowledge. This is why we emphasise the optimisation of general standards of quality and actively work towards knowledge-sharing and innovation.
Für eine optimale Betreuung
The healthcare system in Switzerland is of a high standard. But there are still diseases that we cannot treat; problems that we have not yet overcome. A group of Swiss ophthalmologists founded the Swiss Academy of Ophthalmology to support and ensure research, development and also training and further education at a high level.
The foundation organizes:
- a uniform occupational image of the ophthalmological practice assistant (OMPA)
- the training, further education and continuing education of the practice staff
- information sheets, guidelines for practice and patients
- programs for practice representation, foreign assignments, optimized practice equipment and much more
- congresses for knowledge transfer and exchange of experience
The foundation supports:
- projects in medically underserved areas
- ophthalmologists working in disaster areas and developing countries
- innovative research projects that contribute to better ophthalmic care of the population
- training programs for ophthalmologists
- the exchange of knowledge between various specialists
A member of the SAoO Board of Trustees in the service of space science
Dr Michael Bärtschi, a member of the SAoO Board of Trustees, is participating in research into microcirculation under weightless conditions, similar to what happens onboard the International Space Station ISS or for the planned space flights to the moon and Mars. His collaboration has been established at the request of the research team of the Department of Cardiology at the University of Düsseldorf, headed by Prof. Dr Christian Jung, and on behalf of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
Among other things, retinal microcirculation is assessed in relation to intraocular pressure under hyper-g (hypergravity) and Zero-G(weightlessness) conditions, and a long list of other vital physical and physiological blood parameters are taken and analysed.
In order to obtain clinically accurate intraocular pressure readings under the special weightless conditions, Dr Bärtschi had to design a helmet that met the very high safety standards of space travel to accommodate the rebound tonometer, as well as outsmarting the tonometer’s activation mechanisms for weightlessness. This was successfully achieved with the help of Swiss metal fabrication shops and technical assistance from iCare Finland and was technically tested and accepted by NoveSpace in 2021.
The first Zero-Gparabolic flight campaign to test the technology and safety ("proof of concept") was successfully conducted over the Atlantic Ocean in June 2021. Here are images of our 36th science campaign with the experiment set up onboard the Airbus 310 converted to these "zero-gravity" purposes during the hyper-g and Zero-G phases.
The second Zero-G parabolic flight campaign aiming at the vital in-vivo evaluation of all blood and circulation specific data is scheduled for February 2022, again over the Atlantic Ocean off the French coast.