The Cybersight platform of Orbis International links health personnel in low- and middle-income countries to healthcare experts worldwide for consultations and training.
This article was reviewed by Hunter Cherwerk, MD
Orbis International has one of the largest and most diversified ophthalmology resource offerings in the world, and what it offers is completely free, with the goal of using technology to scale up its efforts to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries.
Cybersight, founded by Gene Helveston, MD, in the late 1990s, is the free eye health learning and mentorship telemedicine platform used by Orbis International to teach and disseminate information as part of its mission to prevent and treat avoidable blindness.
Since the time when Dr. Helveston sought to teach strabismus procedures to Cuban physicians, Cybersight has evolved substantially to incorporate the Cybersight Consult, Cybersight Learn, and Cybersight Live Teaching components into its program.
“All of these areas are about building capacity in human resources in the low- to middle-income countries in which we work,” said Hunter Cherwek, MD, who is vice president, clinical services, Orbis International.
According to Dr. Cherwek, in the area of consultation, more than 150 top international ophthalmology experts are serving as mentors, and there have been more than 20,000 patient consultations undertaken for complex cases to date.
“We have been involved in 950 cases of retinoblastoma and linked doctors worldwide to St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis and Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital in Canada,” he said.
Dr. Cherwek noted Cybersight Learn offers online courses and an open-access library in topics related to ophthalmology, nursing, and associated fields.
“Doctors can go online free of charge and take multi-hour courses in, for example, phacoemulsification, small incision cataract surgery, pediatrics, and glaucoma,” he said.
Cybersight Live Teaching offers live lectures and surgical demonstrations through real-time video conferencing, Dr. Cherwek explained, adding that it has been an explosive field for the company’s platform.
“We are using artificial intelligence to enable our consults not only to teach our doctors what the diagnosis is but also how the diagnosis was derived, what algorithmic thinking was used, and how the ocular structures and associated factors are viewed,” he said.