WORLD SIGHT DAY: STORIES, VIRTUAL REALITY GOGGLES, THE BBC AND THE PLANE

October 2017

Celia Yeung, Flying Eye Hospital Communications Manager

The Flying Eye Hospital, the crew, volunteer faculty, partners, patients and a group of children celebrated World Sight Day on program in Yaoundé, Cameroon. But they weren’t alone, a crew from the BBC joined them and filmed a special World Sight Day field piece from the plane!

The story profiled our innovative use of Virtual Reality (VR) goggles, which is being piloted for the first time during the Cameroon program with local doctors watching live surgeries in 3D from our classroom. Dr. Jonathan Lord, Orbis’s Global Medical Director, explained that viewing surgery in 3D while using the VR headsets is an even richer experience than watching them on the television screen using regular 3D glasses.  When using the VR googles the surgery fills the entire field of view and the the anatomy looks huge. The stereoscopic/3D effect is amplified and the the layers of anatomy are easier to see and distinguish, the experience has been likened to being a ‘tiny human inside a giant eye!’

If the pilot is successful, the recordings of the 3D surgeries could be posted on Cybersight, which can be viewed by anyone anywhere with a Google Cardboard-like 3D/VR viewer. This revolutionary technology gives doctors a more realistic learning experience and is an exciting step forward in both our teaching abilities and reach! 

Click here to see the BBC News feature. The story also highlighted Yvette’s patient story as she underwent cataract surgery and was aired both on BBC’s Focus on Africa on TV and online.

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