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HelpMeSee medical officers partner with Aravind Eye Care System and LV Prasad Eye Institute to publish series highlighting new scientific evidence

New scientific evidence demonstrating the value of simulation-based training for cataract surgery has been showcased in a series of articles published in the peer-reviewed Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, as led by medical officers of HelpMeSee and their partners around the world. Fueled by the innovation of virtual reality, HelpMeSee is a global nonprofit that uses instructor-led simulation-based training to help eradicate cataract blindness.

“The new articles released by the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology include fresh data on the impact HelpMeSee’s instructor-led simulation-based training can have on training ophthalmologists to fight cataract blindness around the world,” said Dr. Van Charles Lansingh, chief medical officer of HelpMeSee. “At a time when simulation-based training is being incorporated into the curricula of many hospitals around the world, scientific evidence is consistently validating the impact simulation can have on surgical training, as it reduces the learning curve involved in developing surgical skills.”

Collectively, the articles demonstrate how simulation-based training is transforming the training landscape in ophthalmology and can reduce complication rates for those who train using this method. Released in the November 2022 issue, the four original articles were written by HelpMeSee medical officers and partners from institutions in India, namely Aravind Eye Care System and LV Prasad Eye Institute, and include the following topics:

Face, Content and Structure Validity

Led by a team in Mumbai, this paper utilizes as a basis analyses from the structured feedback of expert cataract surgeons who used the HelpMeSee Eye Surgery Simulator. As cited, many of the experts felt the visual representation of the surgery on the simulator was extremely realistic. Showcasing extremely favorable outcomes, the article involves a face, content and structure validity study. Led by HelpMeSee partners and medical officers Akshay Gopinathan Nair, Chetan Ahiwalay, Ashish Bacchav and Lansingh, the article can be viewed at PubMed.

Report on Trainee Performance

Medical officers at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai — one of the first hospitals in India to incorporate simulation training into its structured training program — authored this paper. The paper presents data from the officers’ pilot study, which evaluated simulated surgical outcomes among surgical trainees using the HelpMeSee eye surgery virtual reality simulator. HelpMeSee medical officers Lansingh, Bacchav and Ahiwalay, among other partners, authored this article. It can be viewed at PubMed.

The Way Forward — Embracing Technology in Cataract Surgical Training

This editorial is a consensus statement by Indian ophthalmic education thought leaders. Led by HelpMeSee medical officers Lansingh and Nair, this collaborative editorial identifies the lacunae in ophthalmic residency training and highlights how technological tools such as surgical simulators can be incorporated into ophthalmic training — even in limited resource settings — with good results. The article can be viewed at PubMed.

Cataract Surgical Risk Stratification Models

Partnering with LV Prasad Eye Institute, HelpMeSee’s Lansingh led this study, which focused on developing a risk stratification system that predicts outcomes in patients undergoing cataract surgery. The predictive capability of these learning models was based on a large, real-world cataract surgical data set to determine which patients would benefit most from sight-restoring surgery. The article can be viewed at PubMed.

“HelpMeSee’s leadership and team of medical officers have shared important insights regarding the importance of research to validate and accelerate the adoption of simulation-based training,” said Saro Jahani, president and CEO of HelpMeSee. “Collectively, these papers showcase the pivotal impact instructor-led simulation-based training can have on the eradication of cataract blindness around the world.”

About HelpMeSee

In a world where 100 million people are blind or visually impaired due to cataracts, HelpMeSee works to eradicate cataract blindness using virtual reality and simulation-based training. The nonprofit was founded by Al and Jim Ueltschi, who saw an opportunity to end suffering by delivering innovation from the aviation industry to the fight against cataract blindness. As co-founder of Orbis International and founder of FlightSafety International, Al Ueltschi was an icon in the aviation industry, devoted to treating preventable blindness in the developing world. Today, his legacy lives on through HelpMeSee. The organization trains cataract specialists to ensure all communities, especially those with severe economic hardship, have access to cataract treatment as a human right to sight. With more than 40 simulators and 11 training centers worldwide, HelpMeSee partners with governments, universities and innovators to fight the global cataract blindness crisis. For more information, visit http://www.helpmesee.org.

Media interested in speaking with one of HelpMeSee’s medical officers as sources can contact [email protected] or call 412-352-9240.

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HelpMeSee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the United States.

The HelpMeSee mission is to eradicate preventable cataract blindness globally. We achieve this through an innovative, scalable simulation-based cataract surgical training program. Our program covers Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS), Phacoemulsification Simulation-based Training Course (PSTC), Suturing Simulation-based Training Course (SSTC), Complications Management Course (CMC), Phacoemulsification to MSICS Differences Course (PMDC), and MSICS to Phacoemulsification Differences Course (MPDC). These offerings empower eye care professionals to refine their skills, master vital procedures, and excel in ophthalmology. We are dedicated to restoring vision for those with severe visual impairment and cataract-induced blindness worldwide.

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