A mobile phone using the Cybersight telemedicine platform

“It's Opened My Eyes”: Dr. Chuluunbat and Cybersight

Since its launch in 2003, our award-winning online telemedicine platform, Cybersight, has equipped eye health teams around the world with the skills and know-how to fight eye conditions that cause avoidable blindness.

When the pandemic disrupted everything, our virtual platform soon became a beacon of hope for eye health professionals everywhere keen to continue their ophthalmic education in the safest way possible. By the end of 2021, Cybersight had reached a remarkable 56,000 registered users!

Meet Dr. Tsengelmaa Chuluunbat, an ophthalmologist specializing in pediatrics in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. Incredibly, she has been using Cybersight since the year it launched and has been making thorough use of it throughout her professional career, especially its Consult service.

Below, Dr. Chuluunbat looks back on her two-decade telemedicine experience and lifts the lid on how her skills, knowledge and the overall quality of eye care in Mongolia have been improved thanks to Cybersight.

Dr. Tsengelmaa Chuluunbat and a map showing Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital where she works

Dr. Tsengelmaa Chuluunbat is working to improve the quality of pediatric eye care in Mongolia.

Dr. Chuluunbat’s Medical Background

Dr. Chuluunbat has a Master of Medicine in ophthalmology and completed several fellowships all over the world, including retina and pediatric ophthalmology in Taiwan; pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus in South Korea; and general ophthalmology in Italy.

She sees approximately 3,000 patients and performs 250-300 surgeries per year in her role at the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology at the National Center for Maternal and Child Health (NCMCH), an Orbis partner hospital in Ulaanbaatar.

The State of Eye Health in Mongolia

NCMCH services the entire country, which means that some patients live many thousands of kilometers away from the hospital. The country’s low population density of two people for every square kilometer is a challenge for the delivery of health services in remote rural areas.

In relation to eye health care, Mongolia faces a shortage of trained eye care specialists to meet demand, especially for children. According to Dr. Chuluunbat, only five or six of the approximately 100 ophthalmologists in Mongolia focus on pediatric ophthalmology.

Getting the Most From Cybersight

Since first logging on in 2003, Dr. Chuluunbat has utilized most aspects of the Cybersight platform to accelerate her pediatric eye health skills and knowledge. She has also learned how to work together with others to provide better eye health services, telling us: “There is no pediatric private clinic, so Orbis has opened my eyes in how we could learn and how we could collaborate, and how we can improve the patients’ eye health, and how we could together achieve a better outcome.”

What stands out the most is her extensive use of the Cybersight Consult service, so much so that she is regarded by the Cybersight team as a "Consult super-user.” At the touch of a button, the Consult service enables direct access to our network of Cybersight mentors, all international ophthalmology experts. They provide Cybersight users like Dr. Chuluunbat with advice on complex patient cases, helping them determine the best course of care.

She adds that the service has been extremely useful given that Mongolia does not have its own fellowship training program in pediatric ophthalmology.

Smartphone showing Cybersight Consult service

Since first logging into Cybersight in 2003, Dr. Chuluunbat has been an avid user of Cybersight Consult

Over the years, she has gained expertise from participating in hundreds of consults. Speaking about using Cybersight Consult for complex clinical cases, she shared: “I always used to take pictures of patients who had difficult cases. If I had questions on how I should manage them, I send them to my main Cybersight mentors. I have sent almost 400 cases through Cybersight since 2003.”

She confirms that her and her colleagues’ relationship with Cybersight has helped them specifically with treating cases of retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer). A big challenge in Mongolia is that cases are often diagnosed at a late stage. According to Dr. Chuluunbat, improvements in diagnosis and patient care would not have been possible without Cybersight.

In terms of Cybersight’s evolution through the years, she says the user experience has become easier for her as the internet connection in Mongolia is now much more reliable, allowing images to be sent from everywhere in the country, even in rural areas.

Overall, Cybersight has exceeded her expectations, and she says “I'm really proud of it.”

Cybersight’s Positive Impact

According to Dr. Chuluunbat, Mongolia has seen improvements in diagnosis, the quality of patient care, and pediatric eye care services thanks to Cybersight’s support. This has been especially important during the COVID pandemic. While the pandemic disrupted eye care training and limited access to eye health services, Cybersight has kept the future of eye care in focus, enabling ophthalmologists in Mongolia to make use of the platform to discuss complex cases and level up their skills and knowledge.

Two young boys with eye patches in an Orbis-supported hospital in Mongolia

Cybersight allows ophthalmologists like Dr. Chuluunbat to build their eye health skills and, in turn, enhance the quality of eye care for children.

Indeed, Dr. Chuluunbat and fellow ophthalmologists developed concerns about how children’s increased screen time during the pandemic could lead to cases of strabismus. Dr. Chuluunbat used Cybersight Consult to seek advice on one such case, which was then later published in a medical journal – thereby extending the mentorship received through Cybersight to the broader eye health community.

40 Years of Innovating to Fight Blindness

This year, we are proud to celebrate 40 years of using innovations like Cybersight to fight avoidable blindness. By leveraging the platform to build the skills of eye health teams around the world, we have been able to change the way the world sees and transform lives in the process.

An enormous thank-you to Dr. Chuluunbat for being a Cybersight super-user! Not only has she excelled individually with the support of the platform, but her peers have also benefitted from working better together to strengthen pediatric eye health services.

Finally, by sharing vital insights with the global eye health community through Cybersight, the impact of Dr. Chuluunbat’s Cybersight experience has extended well beyond the borders of Mongolia.

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