HelpMeSee presented the first US public demonstration of the breakthrough Eye Surgery Simulator at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Christian Ophthalmology Society (COS) in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. This annual meeting hosted the largest attendance in COS’s history, during which doctors, nurses, and medical professionals were provided the first opportunity for a hands-on demonstration of the virtual reality simulator used in HelpMeSee’s simulation-based training program for cataract specialists.
Attendees experienced the lifelike visual realism and tactile-feedback provided by the high-fidelity simulator, which is currently in development. Conference attendees also had the opportunity to review HelpMeSee’s eBook, which is used in conjunction with Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) training. Comprehensive courseware and simulation will enable HelpMeSee to scale the training of thousands of highly skilled cataract specialists needed to end blindness caused by cataract.
Responses from attendees at the COS meeting were universally positive, with many returning for repeat demos on the simulator. Experienced cataract surgeons were invited to participate in-depth review sessions with Dr. Glenn Strauss, HelpMeSee’s chief subject matter expert throughout simulator development. Dr. Strauss is responsible for ensuring the simulator and courseware prepares cataract specialists for live surgery in months rather than years. The expert surgeons’ feedback was recorded and will be used to verify the simulator’s current capabilities and identify future enhancements as the simulator is further developed.
“We were honored to feature HelpMeSee’s revolutionary training system at COS’s annual meeting,” said conference organizer and COS president, Dr. Stan Pletcher. “Attendees were clearly excited to try the technology for themselves – it’s clear that simulation training has the potential to completely revolutionize the way that surgeons are trained for live surgery around the globe,” and he added “HelpMeSee’s training program will be an excellent match for our members’ mission to restore sight around the world and to be involved in training.”
“It was gratifying to share our training technology with the real experts – those skilled surgeons providing sight-restoring care to those in need in the developing world,” said Dr. Van Charles Lansingh, Medical Officer for Latin America at HelpMeSee. “Their feedback is invaluable to finalizing development of our training program,” he said adding “Thank you to the Christian Ophthalmology Society for inviting us to participate in their annual meeting.”
The recently completed the Module A training package was presented, which includes the tasks for creating the tunnel incision, which is the fundamental first step of an MSICS procedure. HelpMeSee continues to enhance the development of the simulator and associated courseware. In the years to come, working together with partners and institutions around the world, HelpMeSee plans to open a number of large in-residence training centers disbursed throughout the developing world to train thousands of cataract specialists.
HelpMeSee is the global campaign to end cataract blindness, the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, by massively increasing the training of cataract specialists to serve in the developing world. Through the use of high fidelity simulation-based surgical training, a large scale for training cataract specialists can be accomplished. In addition to training, since 2012, HelpMeSee has supported over 250,000 sight-restoring cataract surgeries in 11 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
About Christian Ophthalmology Society
The Christian Ophthalmology Society was founded in 1977 as an interdenominational group of eye physicians and surgeons who confess that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. Their annual meeting has engaged physicians from around the globe and has become a very credible and popular public forum on ophthalmology missions. The society has taken seriously the call for improving international involvement and development by engaging topics such as best surgical practices and techniques, partnering with national ophthalmologists and sustainability. The COS has been committed to education on manual small incision cataract surgery.