Frankfurt am Main. A new training simulator was presented yesterday at the Eye Clinic of the J.W. Goethe University Hospital under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Christian Ohrloff. This simulator allows medical students and physicians to practice eye examinations by means of so-called binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy. As part of the current ophthalmoscopy course, journalists were able to try out the new system themselves under the supervision of professors and medical students and examine the retina of a virtual patient.
“Looking into the virtual eye allows detection of a large number of illnesses in the human body. Students do not otherwise have an opportunity to actually see these changes on a retina,” explains Prof. Dr. Frank Koch, Head of the Department for Vitreous and Retinal Surgery at the Eye Clinic of the J.W. Goethe University Hospital.
With many different clinical pictures available, the database of the training system extends the teaching and learning spectrum of ophthalmological training – independently of patients or test persons.
“For the first time, we can now perform proper diagnosis of retinal diseases. Before, we had to examine each other. This was often very unpleasant for the medical students, since their eyes were still very sensitive to light for hours after the examination after having been artificially dilated with drops. In addition, most of the students did not have any eye diseases that we were able to examine in more detail,” said Mirna Hellis, a 5th-year medical student, explaining the benefits of the new training system for students.
The simulator was developed by VRmagic in cooperation with the Eye Clinic of the J.W. Goethe University Hospital and the Department of Computer Science V at the University of Heidelberg. The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The prototype has already been used in the ophthalmoscopy course at the Eye Clinic in Frankfurt and is now a fixed part of the curriculum alongside the existing training system for simulation of eye surgery.