Virtual reality on the flying eye hospital.


At Orbis, we have a long history of using technology and innovation to improve access to eye care. The pandemic has changed the way we teach and the way we learn but our investment in innovative solutions, like simulation and telehealth, means we are in a good position to adapt to this 'new normal'.

Which is why, this World Sight Day, we are proud to announce the release of our Simulation Center Manual, a new guide for training hospitals and teaching institutions looking to create and run their own ophthalmic simulation centers and training programs. Like all Orbis resources, the manual is free, so that eye care professionals in low- and middle-income countries – where vision impairment is four times greater than in high-income regions – can benefit from it.

When eye care professionals get the training they need, patients get the quality eye care they deserve. But the need for social distancing has disrupted traditional in-person eye care training like never before. Despite these challenges, cutting-edge innovations like simulation are getting the next generation of eye care professionals ready to take on their sight-saving work.

Dr. Danny Haddad

Chief of Programs at Orbis International

Sim­u­la­tion train­ing is trans­form­ing how eye care pro­fes­sion­als become mas­ters of their field, and as we equip more insti­tu­tions with the knowl­edge to lever­age that tech­nol­o­gy, the rip­ple effects will be felt far and wide. The end goal for all oph­thalmic train­ing is a high­er qual­i­ty of care for patients, and sim­u­la­tion train­ing open pos­si­bil­i­ties for achiev­ing that goal at faster speed, low­er cost and with greater results. It is tru­ly a game-changer.”

As innovators in medicine, we are always looking for the newest technology to counter the threat of avoidable blindness. In the past year, thanks to supporters like you, we have introduced artificial intelligence into Cybersight to help detect common eye diseases. We have partnered with FundementalVR to create a virtual reality training platform that will allow ophthalmology students to practice procedures on their own. And now, we are releasing the first-ever Simulation Center Manual, the next step in our effort to bring eye care training to the future.

Experts have predicted that global blindness will triple by the year 2050, but the number of people requiring eye care is already outpacing the number of trained ophthalmologists. And with the global pandemic, in-person ophthalmic training has been reduced due to the need for social distancing, forcing institutions to turn toward innovation and technology for eye health professionals to gain surgical skills. Simulation training can help fill this gap.

Eyesi is one of our simulation tools on board the Flying Eye Hospital

Simulation devices – like virtual reality, artificial eyes, and life-like manikins – let complex procedures be broken down into smaller parts, letting doctors practice each step as many times as they need, something you can't do with an actual patient.

Despite the growing need for eye care simulation training, many institutions lack guidance on developing and supporting facilities, educational materials, and programs. But, the high price point of cutting-edge technology often keeps it out of reach for those who need them most. This manual, though, helps hospitals and teaching institutions overcome this barrier by providing recommendations that take into account a range of budget and training needs.

Watch our video on the newest simulation technology!

The new Simulation Center Manual is the culmination of our experience delivering simulation training to thousands of eye care professionals around the globe and supporting partners as they integrated simulation training into their programs.

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