Canada’s first virtual reality optometry lab opens in Waterloo

Students at the Univ of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science are learning how to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases more quickly and accurately in a new virtual reality (VR) training lab. Known as the FYidoctors Simulation Lab, it represents the state-of-the-art in optometric education and is a first in Canada. The total cost of the facility was $1.5 million, of which $800,000 was donated by FYidoctors, a national chain of eye-care clinics that was founded 10 years ago by a group of Waterloo optometry graduates. The lab is equipped with VR headsets that simulate a healthy human eye as well as various eye and vision conditions, including macular degeneration and diabetes. In a second phase, the lab will add simulators that will help students develop more complex clinical skills.