Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ:VUZI) is collaborating with Ohana One, a global surgical training nonprofit organization, in a study of mentor-mentee training through Ohana’s Surgical Sight program to the non-governmental organization (NGO) community.
The Surgical Sight program utilizes Vuzix Smart Glasses to connect surgical mentors in developed areas with surgeons around the globe to create training relationships.
The surgical mentee can share his or her surgical field directly with the mentor, and the mentor sees what the mentee is seeing live in real-time using specialized smart glasses software.
The technology can take pictures of the live feed, record videos, freeze the image and subsequently write on top of the captured image, and allow a mentor's hands to point out areas that need special attention or direction, all as if the mentor was directly operating with the mentee in live time.
In doing so, this creates a relationship between the mentor and mentee for training purposes, allowing the mentee to further develop their surgical skills. The smart glasses and software create an environment where the mentor can be available in live time during the surgery, preoperative planning, and postoperative monitoring.
The Surgical Sight program is the brainchild of Ohana One International Surgical Aid and Education, along with Ohana One cofounder and VP Dr David Kulber, a renowned hand and reconstructive surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
More frequent mentorship required
Over the last 10 years, Dr Kulber has mentored Dr Pedro Santos, who is one of only three plastic surgeons in all of Mozambique. He has been doing so through annual surgical mission trips, and now most recently working closely together year-round utilizing Vuzix Smart Glasses technology.
During the initial missions, it was immediately recognized that unless there was year-round training for the surgeon, annual missions were not enough to continue working on the surgeon's skills, as this type of work requires much more frequent mentorship. Thus, the idea of utilizing smart glasses technology for remote surgical training began.
This technology allowed Dr Kulber to continue to train Dr Santos throughout the year, a key factor in further developing Dr Santos' skill as a plastic surgeon. This unique training is critical, as surgeons in remote areas of the world struggle without having mentorships to assist in training.
"The success of the first mentor/mentee program culminated with Dr. Santos passing his COSECSA boards for the first time while ranking second in all of Africa, and having other doctors wanting to volunteer," said Dr Kulber. "This experience created the nucleus to roll out a broader and more robust program so that physicians all over the world who work in limited resource countries can have access to mentor/mentee relationships which go beyond education and creates deep personal bonds on a global scale."
Dr Santos added: "With the use of Vuzix smart glasses and Dr. Kulber's mentorship, I've been able to treat over 20 cases of complex reconstructions. However, the principles that have been passed on to me have allowed me to treat far more patients without Dr. Kulber's guidance on the other side of the line. This is an easily reproducible model that can have a significant impact on surgeons and patients' lives and should be used to improve patient care worldwide."
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