The Eyesi Surgical virtual reality training simulator is part of an exhibition in which artifacts from the second-generation Orbis Flying Eye Hospital DC-10 aircraft are featured at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., USA.
The Flying Eye Hospital, run by global eye care NGO Orbis, is a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on an airplane. The state-of-the-art facility is complete with an operating theatre, classroom, and recovery room. With the Flying Eye Hospital, Orbis has been enabling a global volunteer team of ophthalmic experts to train local eye care professionals in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America to prevent avoidable blindness since 1982. The Flying Eye Hospital is now in its third-generation on board an MD-10 aircraft.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment around the world, today accounting for approximately 40% of global blindness according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. In 2005, the on-board teaching facilities in the second-generation Flying Eye Hospital were complemented by an Eyesi® Surgical Simulator, which was used for cataract surgery training. This simulator is now featured among the artifacts from the DC-10 now installed in the new “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly” permanent exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition celebrates the breadth and depth of general aviation and its deep impact on society.
Orbis International was an early adopter of simulator-based training, which continues to be an essential component of the organization’s training, including on board the Flying Eye Hospital, and allows eye care teams to build their skills and confidence safely before progressing to real-life surgeries. The third-generation Flying Eye Hospital has an Eyesi Indirect Ophthalmoscope simulator and an Eyesi Surgical on board to facilitate both diagnostic and surgical training of eye care professionals.
The National Air and Space Museum’s new exhibition is now open to the public. In addition, the Museum will feature a live conversation titled “The Flying Eye Hospital: Medicine Meets Aviation” on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 8 p.m. EST, as part of the GE Aviation Lecture Series. The event will be held at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and will also be streamed online. Attendance is free either in-person or virtually with registration at The Flying Eye Hospital: Medicine Meets Aviation | National Air and Space Museum (si.edu)