At the centerpiece of HelpMeSee’s global program to eliminate cataract blindness is a simulation-based training program focused on training specialists in MSICS (Manual Surgical Incision Cataract Surgery), a high-quality and low-cost procedure for cataract blindness. HelpMeSee's training program prepares eye care professionals to deliver the high-volume MSICS procedures needed to reduce the backlog of patients awaiting treatment.
To make this large-scale training possible, we are developing HelpMeSee’s Eye Surgical Simulator, which combines realistic computer graphics and physics modeling with motion controls and tactile-feedback to accurately recreate the MSICS procedure. Working with our technology partners and team of experienced ophthalmologists, this surgical simulator is part of an integrated learning system designed to support the training of tens of thousands of cataract surgeons.
Benefits of simulation-based training include:
- Realistic, lifelike simulations allows for immersive training .
- Enables rapid transfer of surgical skills to cataract specialists.
- Trainees can repeat individual steps of the surgery until the desired level of proficiency is achieved.
- Standardized MSICS technique can help improve surgical outcomes.
- Objective measurement and recording surgical performance data can be used to support an instructor's feedback.
- The cataract specialist’s proficiency level is documented through each stage of training.
- Eliminates risk to live patients while supporting a surgeon’s ability to achieve a higher level of proficiency before completing the live surgery that is part of training.
The HelpMeSee simulation training program is intended to replace the traditional MSICS training, which is primarily dependent on performing live surgery, and is designed to reduce the time required to acquire surgical skills and qualifying for independent surgery. When combined with a comprehensive curriculum, simulation-based training will allow a trainee to become high-skilled before ever operating on a live patient.
Once development is complete, HelpMeSee intends to work together with partners and institutions to build large-scale training centers in the regions where cataracts are most prevalent. Trained cataract specialists can sustainably provide treatment in their local communities with affordable, high-quality eye care.