HelpMeSee, a global nonprofit that uses virtual reality and simulation-based training to eradicate cataract blindness, has announced a collaboration with Intel Corporation to accelerate its mission and increase access to sight-restoring surgery in developing countries.
“Powered by the innovation of virtual reality, HelpMeSee uses instructor-led, simulation-based training to train cataract specialists at scale, through partnerships around the world,” explained Saro Jahani, HelpMeSee’s president and CEO. “Intel’s additional funding and access to its technology are increasing the power and mobility of our virtual-reality eye surgery simulator, which will allow new cataract specialists to be trained with greater efficiency. We are very grateful for their commitment to this important humanitarian cause.”
According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, more than 100 million people are blind or visually impaired due to untreated cataract, and this number is projected to grow significantly unless action is taken. Although many cases of cataract blindness can be cured through surgery, the challenge worldwide is a dramatic shortage of talent that can perform such surgery, particularly in the developing world.
Rick Echevarria, Intel vice president and general manager of the Intel RISE Technology Initiative, said, “Intel is committed to developing technology that improves the life of every person on the planet and creating a positive global impact.” He continued, “Our work with HelpMeSee is part of the Intel RISE Technology Initiative, which has created a broad, purpose-driven platform for action with dedicated workstreams that support areas such as education, accessibility, and human rights. We continue to join with others to find ways we can use our technology for good.”
“As we fight the global cataract blindness crisis, we celebrate this partnership and the commitment Intel has made to focus on digital transformation and tackling inequalities in healthcare,” Jahani said.
In a world where 100 million people are blind or visually impaired due to cataract, HelpMeSee works to eradicate cataract blindness using virtual reality and simulation-based training. The nonprofit was founded by Al and Jim Ueltschi, who saw the opportunity to end suffering by delivering innovation from the aviation industry to the fight against cataract blindness. As co-founder of Orbis International and founder of FlightSafety International, Al Ueltschi was an icon in the aviation industry, devoted to treating preventable blindness in the developing world. Today, his legacy lives on through HelpMeSee. The organization trains cataract specialists to ensure that all communities, especially those with severe economic hardship, have access to cataract treatment as a human right to sight. With more than 40 simulators and 11 training centers worldwide, HelpMeSee partners with governments, universities, and innovators to fight the global cataract blindness crisis. For more information, visit www.helpmesee.org.