December 9, 2015 - HelpMeSee, the global campaign to end cataract blindness, presented its breakthrough eye care technologies at the first-ever World Conference on MSICS this weekend in Pune, India. The conference, held from December 4th - 6th, brought together nearly 1,000 cataract surgeons from around the world who practice Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS).
The Conference was held with the 8th Annual Conference of the International Society of Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgeons, an organization that "aims to improve outcomes of cataract surgery" and "provide better vision to more patients at an affordable cost."
Cataract blindness is the leading cause of blindness globally and in South Asia, where the MSICS procedure first found widespread use. The procedure offers a high-quality and highly cost-effective method for treating cataract visual impairment and cataract blindness.
"Virtual tissue surgical training marries the genius of medicine and the methodology of aviation." said Matthew Walden, Clinical Research Coordinator at HelpMeSee. "This HelpMeSee innovation has altered and permanently changed the trajectory of hands-on human learning."
HelpMeSee’s technology includes a focus on simulation-based learning to train the tens of thousands of specialists needed to provide cataract surgery in the developing world. Developed in partnership with Moog, Symphony Teleca, SenseGraphics and InSimo, the HelpMeSee Eye Simulator provides unprecedented haptic feedback and uses advanced physics- based modeling to simulate the effects of live surgery.
"Large scale training of cataract surgeons is the only way forward if we hope to tackle cataract blindness," added Hina Patel, HelpMeSee’s Business Intelligence and Quality Assurance Lead. "HelpMeSee’s simulation-based training program opens a new avenue to deliver this effectively and without harming any patients."
Visiting surgeons at the conference shared the enthusiasm of the HelpMeSee team. "If you have simulation, then the problem of an untrained guy doing surgery on a patient is totally removed," said Dr. Ranjeet H Maniar, an ophthalmologist from Mumbai, India.
"My feeling is that MSICS is the only technique with the help of which you can reduce cataract blindness globally," added Dr. Bidya Prasad Pant, a senior surgeon at Geta Eye Hospital in Nepal.
In addition to the training system, HelpMeSee team members introduced surgeons to the HelpMeSee Reach smartphone app for patient mobilization, the pre-sterilized surgical kit for MSICS and HelpMeSee’s cloud-based surgical reporting systems. The app allows community outreach workers to transmit essential screening data to hospitals directly from the field, saving significant time and letting them screen much larger areas. HelpMeSee’s surgical kit provides a pre-sterilized solution for the MSICS procedure and with a new kit per patient reduces the risk of infection. Together, they provide the solutions needed to deliver sustainable cataract surgery worldwide.
HelpMeSee is a global campaign to end cataract blindness, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. HelpMeSee intends to make the sight-restoring surgery available to millions of poor through financial support and by scaling training to the necessary number of MSICS specialists recruited from within their communities. HelpMeSee is pioneering a virtual reality surgical simulator and training program to be implemented worldwide, adapted from extensive experience in simulator-based aviation training. Since 2012, the campaign has supported over 222,000 surgeries through 242 partnerships across India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Madagascar, Togo, Sierra Leone, Peru and The Gambia.