Orbis Volunteer Faculty and cataract removal specialist Dr.Laura Wayman

Dr. Wayman: Using technology to improve eye care in Peru

September 2019

Dr. Laura Wayman has been a part of the Orbis Volunteer Faculty family for just over a year-and-a-half. In her day job she is Vice Chair for Education at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee.

But in her free-time she volunteers for Orbis where she is currently sharing her skills, and years of experience, with a team of doctors in Peru. Thanks to our online telehealth platform, Cybersight, Dr. Wayman has been in regular contact with the team; examining patients, selecting and scheduling cases for surgery and mentoring live operations - without ever having to leave her home in Nashville.

Dr. Wayman is a big believer in the advancement of technology and the benefit it can have on improving the quality of eye care available around the world. Thanks to platforms such as Cybersight, she can provide guidance and expertise during a live surgery without the expense and time constraints of air travel, or having to miss appointments with her own patients.

We meet online through Zoom and prior to that meeting, they will communicate with me through Cybersight and provide patient information, the patients that they plan to operate on. It will have everything from their vision, their refraction, their pupil size, the type of cataract.

Dr. Laura Wayman

Orbis Volunteer Faculty

Click to watch Dr. Wayman giving training via Cybersight!

This simple and affordable audio-visual technology, given to her by Orbis and made possible thanks to our partners and supporters, is reshaping the eye care landscape. Dr. Wayman, one of the best in the world, can now see exactly what the junior surgeon in Peru is seeing in real time, and is in constant communication with the team during surgery.

READ THE PUBLISHED JOURNAL ARTICLE ON ORBIS AND DR. WAYMAN’S TELEMENTORSHIP

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“On the day of surgery we get a link from Orbis. We click the link and I’m able to see what they see through the microscope… Then after the surgery they will provide the post-op information for one day, and one week through Cybersight. So, I actually know how the patient is doing and what’s happening” Dr. Wayman told us.

This form of distance learning gives junior doctors the extra confidence they need in the early stages of their career, providing them with expertise they would not normally have access to.

Orbis Volunteer Faculty Dr. Laura Wayman with her team in Peru

Dr. Wayman and her team reunited

While Dr. Wayman conducts most of her consultations online, she recently got the opportunity to present at the 25th Anniversary of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology in Peru. While she was down there, she met the team she’s been working with for the past year-and-a-half.

One of the people she’s been mentoring is Dr. De La Cruz who is a young cataract surgeon learning to specialise in the phacoemulsification technique.

Dr. Wayman and Dr. De La Cruz discuss a cataract removal case

Dr. Wayman and Dr. De La Cruz discuss a case

When I started I had some practice taught by my mentors here in Peru. Then I experienced remote tele-mentorship with Dr. Wayman, she has been polishing me. It’s like sculptors, first they make the mould and then comes the beauty in the surgery. Dr. Wayman corrected some things I was doing wrong and then she helped to boost some others I had clear.

Dr. De La Cruz

Cataract Surgeon

With the additional skills and expertise that Dr. De La Cruz is learning from his mentor, he is able to pass on to resident ophthalmologists and junior consultants.

“I try to replicate what I have learned with all the other surgeons in training who are the third-year residents” he told us.

Gallery: Transforming vision in Peru

Thanks to our supporters and partners we’re now able to help improve the quality of eye care around the world – more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Only through technology, innovation and collaborations like this can we hope to tackle the impending blindness crisis.

We would like to say a special thank you to the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology who’ve we’ve been working closely with for nearly 15 years; Dr. Laura Wayman for giving up her free time and sharing her skills; and of course to all our supporters who help make this happen.

Thanks to you we’re helping improve the quality of eye care in countries like Peru, not just today, but for generations to come.

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