Celebrating 20 years of Cybersight | Orbis

Celebrating 20 years of Cybersight

Cybersight, our award-winning telemedicine and e-learning platform, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, Orbis is announcing the latest innovation in global ophthalmic telemedicine: the launch of the Cybersight mobile app.

Through Cybersight, medical professionals around the world can access training and education tools, long-distance mentoring, and online courses and lectures anywhere, anytime – from a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Plus, our team of 400 world-leading Volunteer Faculty can deliver training and consultations without having to leave their home.

The Cybersight app is now available on Apple and Android devices. One of its most important features is its offline functionality, critical for eye care teams working in areas with poor or no internet connection. A user can create, view, or work on a case from anywhere in the world, and the app will automatically sync when the user next connects to the internet.

As smartphones become ubiquitous, even in remote communities, providing a better user experience through the Cybersight app will help improve the quality of eye care available in hard-to-reach places.

Dr. Kieu Le The Mong at Can Tho Children’s Hospital, Vietnam

In addition to offline functionality, mobile apps provide a more streamlined user experience than website browsers because apps allow data to be stored locally on devices, ensuring a quicker experience.

Through the Cybersight app, local eye care teams can seek expert guidance from Orbis Volunteer Faculty, take online courses, join webinars, access thousands of teaching cases, work offline, and even use artificial intelligence to detect signs of common eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular diseases in their patients.

20 Years of Telehealth Innovation

In 1998, decades ahead of his time, Dr. Eugene Helveston created the first-ever internet-based ophthalmic telemedicine program. In 2003, Cybersight officially launched, paving the way for landmark changes in ophthalmic education.

Cybersight pioneer Dr. Eugene Helveston with an early version of our ophthalmic teledmedicine platform on his computer screen

Dr. Helveston demonstrates an early version of Orbis Cybersight.

During Orbis visits to Havana, Cuba as an Orbis Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. Helveston realized that in-person training projects weren’t enough. Committed local doctors needed ongoing support. Having already experimented with remote consultations, he along with Orbis team members, set about training local colleagues with digital imagery and clinical history recording.

This would allow them to email cases to Dr. Helveston at his home in Indianapolis. From there, he could send back, via email, a diagnosis or recommendation for further tests and re-submission, or a suggested treatment plan. In doing so, Orbis’s first ophthalmic telemedicine system was born.

Today, Cybersight has more than 85,000 registered users hailing from nearly every country and region in the world. It has delivered more than 30,000 patient consultations, helping diagnose and treat patients from all corners of the world, even reaching conflict-affected areas like Ukraine and Syria.

As the COVID pandemic unfolded, thanks to our early investment in telemedicine, we were ready to meet the needs of eye care professionals throughout the world – virtually.

99% of people surveyed said Cybersight improved their knowledge and skills.

In the past four years, the number of users has exploded. There have been more than 119,000 webinar attendances, over 246,000 course enrollments, and Cybersight videos have been viewed more than 11 million times. Using Cybersight, we also seamlessly transitioned our in-person Flying Eye Hospital projects to virtual ones throughout 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Honoring Dr. Helveston

This year, at Orbis International's annual gala on October 19 in New York City, Orbis will recognize the contributions of Dr. Eugene Helveston to global eye care. To further honour Dr. Helveston, Orbis is establishing the annual Dr. Helveston Pediatric Conference on Cybersight. This conference will bring together the foremost minds in pediatric ophthalmology, so that eye care teams around the world can expand their knowledge and deliver better care to their youngest patients.

An old photograph of Orbis Cybersight pioneer Dr. Eugene Helveston with colleagues in Cuba in 1998

Dr. Helveston with colleagues in Cuba in 1998.

We would like to say a huge thank-you to Dr. Helveston, and all the other Orbis pioneers, who have helped grow Cybersight into the leading ophthalmic telemedicine platform in the world. If you would like to honour Dr. Helveston’s legacy and help ensure Cybersight continues to improve the quality of eye care in hard-to-reach places, please donate below.

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