Moments of Change
Some points in time are more important.
Events can change history. Regardless of your beliefs-whether life is predetermined or self-inflicted — these flashes of time happen.
HelpMeSee is no stranger to life-changing events. Restoring sight to a person blinded because of cataracts is an emotional experience. Even some of the most seasoned of doctors occasionally weep. Yet for our organization, this particular moment is a landslide.
Last month, we landed in Beijing to demonstrate our virtual reality surgical simulator at the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness Annual Meeting and the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Annual Meeting.
For the past five years HelpMeSee with our partner Moog, have been developing a simulator to teach the Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery procedure to our cataract care specialists. Some experts dismissed this feat from the beginning. A simulator at this scale has never been done before… the eye is too difficult to replicate…. the unique set of experiences needed to develop this technology are few… but, we did it.
Simulation as a teaching method has been around for half a century. Medicine is late to the game. To reproduce the look, feel and reaction of an anatomical eye model — with software, hardware, graphics and haptics,— is a real accomplishment.
Once perfected the HelpMeSee surgical simulator can be used to teach more than just cataract removal. It can instruct professionals on any eye-related surgical procedure. The applications are limitless.
This grand moment in time had humble beginnings. An unmarked truck pulled up to the Westin Hotel in Beijing, unloaded two medium-sized wooden crates containing the mechanism that will restore sight to millions.