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Technology Update

Indirect Ophthalmoscope Simulator

The Hamilton Eye Institute always strives to remain on the cutting edge of technology. The addition of 3-D HD microsurgical video is not the only recent expansion in our array of training technologies. In 2011, HEI also added a new indirect ophthalmoscope simulator system to its Skills Transfer Center. This highly advanced virtual-reality workstation immerses its users in a hands-on training environment with a simulated patient who can present an array of different possible ophthalmologic conditions.By using the simulator, students and residents learn to perform an eye examination using indirect ophthalmoscopy to identify the computergenerated patient’s symptoms.

The system tracks students’ improvement over time by storing performance data, which can also be reviewed by faculty to identify areas in which the student may need more guidance. First-year HEI resident Stephen Huddleston, MD, who has been training on the simulator, remarks, “The simulator is very useful for localizing lesions and better understanding how certain pathologic cases present.”

Surgical Simulator Updated

The ophthalmic surgical simulator, which provides training in a wide array of cataract and vitreoretinal surgeries, receives major software upgrades about every 2 years. Recent upgrades include a considerably expanded curriculum of new training modules, an improved interface, refined tissue modeling, and various other upgraded features. An ideal convergence of technological synergy, the surgical simulator can also record and export 3-D video of the virtual surgeries, which can then be edited and displayed on any 3-D-capable video system, including the Freeman Auditorium’s new 3-D HD projection system.

Digital Whiteboard Facilitates Instruction

Among the array of education technology available at the Hamilton Eye Institute, the digital whiteboard leaves old-school chalk boards in the dust. This special type of plasma screen enables our professors and instructors – like William R. Morris, MD, who is in charge of medical student education at HEI – to pull up pictures from our vast database of ophthalmic images and draw directly on them. With the whiteboard’s digital markers, instructors can employ different colors to highlight aspects of external or internal eye anatomy such as blood vessels, areas of hemorrhage, and pathology. This teaching method helps viewers to better visualize and comprehend the anatomy of the eye. Notes and images drawn on the screen can be saved in a library folder for future reference.

Additional A/V Technology at HEI

The Freeman Auditorium is a cornerstone of education at the Hamilton Eye Institute. The seamlessly integrated systems there allow us to make the most of any presentation and share it with the world.

In 2011, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) revolutionized the presentation of surgical video in its operating rooms and Freeman Auditorium with the addition of TrueVision®, a three-dimensional, high-definition (3-D HD) surgical video system. HEI is among the first eye centers in the world to have adopted this exciting new microsurgical technology in its operating rooms. Furthermore, HEI is the first eye center to take the additional step of assimilating this 3-D HD technology into the building’s audio/video (A/V) infrastructure. This enables live or prerecorded simulcasting of 3-D HD ophthalmic microsurgery to an audience of more than 100 viewers in our state-of-the-art Freeman Auditorium. The integration of this video system advances the effectiveness of surgical instruction at HEI, bridging a gap that has long existed between the teaching and practice of microsurgery. Although stereo operating microscopes have been used for more than 50 years, surgeries could only be recorded in monocular (2-D) video. Only now can the dimension of depth in a microsurgical procedure be accurately shared with students, which is especially important since the slightest error in depth can result in a damaged lens or scarred retina.

Our media Webcast system allows us to share Internet links that enable students, residents and health professionals to attend live Webcasts of events and presentations by our faculty, residents and visiting guest speakers. After these live events have transpired, they are stored in our media server and can be viewed at any time, providing an invaluable information and educational resource.

The audience response system at HEI is used weekly at our grand rounds lectures. This system enables presenters to place poll questions in their PowerPoint lectures that the audience can answer with remote controls. The answers are then instantaneously transformed into a graphic representation on the slide in the form of a bar or pie chart. Not only does this create a heightened level of interest and involvement for participating students and residents in the audience, but it also reveals any gaps in knowledge and prompts our faculty to address them.

May 26, 2022