Ohana One International Surgical Aid and Education Launches Virtual Surgical Sight Smart Glasses Program with Vuzix
- Uniting Surgeons around the world to bridge the global surgical deficit
- Enables remote training during COVID-19 travel restrictions
- Allows program to expand with significantly reduced travel costs
- Hosts webinar "Connecting Mentor to Mentee for the NGO Community"
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), ("Vuzix" or, the "Company"), a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technology and products, in collaboration with Ohana One, a global surgical training nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate high-quality surgical and anesthesia programs in developing areas around the world today, announced the first collaborative study of mentor-mentee training through their Surgical Sight program to the non-governmental organization (NGO) community.
The Surgical Sight program utilizes Vuzix Smart Glasses to connect surgical mentors in developed areas with surgeons around the globe to create training relationships within surgery. The surgical mentee can share his or her surgical field directly with the mentor, and the mentor sees what the mentee is seeing live in real-time using specialized smart glasses software. This technology can take pictures of the live feed, record videos, freeze the image and subsequently write on top of the captured image, and allow a mentor's hands to point out areas that need special attention or direction, all as if the mentor was directly operating with the mentee in live time. In doing so, this creates a relationship between the mentor and mentee for training purposes, allowing the mentee to further develop their surgical skills. The smart glasses and software create an environment where the mentor can be available in live time during the surgery, preoperative planning, and post-operative monitoring.
Early supporters of Ohana One's focus on global surgical education include actress Charlize Theron, actress Jessica Chastain, American filmmaker Jay Roach and American rapper Quavo.
The Surgical Sight program is the brainchild of Ohana One International Surgical Aid and Education, along with Ohana One cofounder and VP Dr. David Kulber, a renowned hand and reconstructive surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Kulber has mentored Dr. Pedro Santos, who is one of only three plastic surgeons in all of Mozambique, a country in Africa of over 30 million people. He has been doing so through annual surgical mission trips, and now most recently working closely together year-round utilizing Vuzix Smart Glasses technology. During the initial missions, it was immediately recognized that unless there was year-round training for the surgeon, annual missions were not enough to continue working on the surgeon's skills, as this type of work requires much more frequent mentorship. Thus, the idea of utilizing smart glasses technology for remote surgical training began. This technology allowed Dr. Kulber to continue to train Dr. Santos throughout the year, a key factor in further developing Dr. Santos' skill as a plastic surgeon. This unique training is critical, as surgeons in remote areas of the world struggle without having mentorships to assist in training.
"The success of the first mentor/mentee program culminated with Dr. Santos passing his COSECSA boards for the first time while ranking second in all of Africa, and having other doctors wanting to volunteer," states Dr. Kulber. "This experience created the nucleus to roll out a broader and more robust program so that physicians all over the world who work in limited resource countries can have access to mentor/mentee relationships which go beyond education and creates deep personal bonds on a global scale."
"With the use of Vuzix smart glasses and Dr. Kulber's mentorship, I've been able to treat over 20 cases of complex reconstructions. However, the principles that have been passed on to me have allowed me to treat far more patients without Dr. Kulber's guidance on the other side of the line," says Dr. Santos. "This is an easily reproducible model that can have a significant impact on surgeons and patients' lives and should be used to improve patient care worldwide."
Through partnerships with surgical training NGOs including InterSurgeon, Mending Kids, ReSurge International, FIENS, Ruth Paz Fundacion, Steps 2 Walk, and UCLA Health, Ohana One is able to introduce and empower volunteer mentor surgeons to take part in these virtual surgical missions. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic that has amplified the importance of remote technology in a setting where travel is difficult and dangerous. The training and education that is able to be gained with Ohana One's Surgical Sight program will be an option for NGOs to help bridge the gap and reach mentees needing mentorships in remote countries to develop their surgical technique. Ultimately, the goal is to increase access to surgery by training surgeons in areas of need, affecting thousands of lives in their areas.
The first Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses landed in Mwanza, Tanzania at Bugando Medical Center and Dr. Vihar Kotecha, the general pediatric surgeon, was excited to put them to use and receive real-time training from his mentor, Dr. Jason Frischer, a general surgeon at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The two have worked together during volunteer mission trips with the surgical nonprofit, Mending Kids.
The first cohort for the year-long study includes adult and pediatric surgeons from Aga Khan University Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Alabama, Children's National Hospital, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Eastbourne District General Hospital, Evergreen Health, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Bugando Medical Center, Shriners Hospital for Children, Stanford Medical Center, University of Alabama, and UCLA Medical Center. The specialties utilizing this technology are plastic and reconstructive surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, colorectal surgery, and urological surgery.
While the first cohort is made up of 20 surgical teams consisting of mentor and mentee pairs that span 16 developing countries, including Armenia, Rwanda, Honduras, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Argentina, Peru, South Africa, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Senegal, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe, the goal is to have the program grow to 1,000 mentor/mentee pairs.
"Our hope with the first cohort study is to help our partner surgeons replicate our Mozambique experience and provide support to physicians during a global pandemic as mission trips are not possible," says Dr. Kulber. "Resources are even more scarce and physician support is needed now more than ever worldwide."
"We are very pleased to support Ohana One and the participating surgical teams around the globe as part of the launch of virtual Surgical Sight Smart Glasses Program in their mission to connect 1,000 mentor/mentee pairs," said Paul Travers, President and CEO of Vuzix.
If you're interested in learning more about the Ohana One Surgical Sight Smart Glasses Program, you can register for the upcoming webinar via the link below.
Webinar Topic: Ohana One Surgical Smart Glasses Program: Connecting Mentor to Mentee for the NGO Community
Date: October 29, 2020
Start Time: 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET)
About Ohana One
Ohana One cultivates high-quality surgical and anesthesia programs in developing areas around the world. We promote collaboration between organizations with similar goals and open pathways for healthcare providers to volunteer their career expertise. Our work is not limited to single mission trips, but to establishing long-term sustainable surgical training programs utilizing mentor relationships and advanced technology, including smart glasses through our Surgical Sight program. In doing so, we work alongside surgical providers to undertake increasingly more complex cases with the goal of elevating and expanding safe self-sustaining surgical care in areas that need it most. www.ohanaone.one
About Vuzix Corporation
Vuzix is a leading supplier of Smart-Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The Company's products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high-quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 179 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2020 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company (NASDAQ: VUZI) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK, and Tokyo, Japan. For more information, visit Vuzix website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
Certain statements contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward looking statements contained in this release relate to Vuzix Smart Glasses, our business relationship with the Ohana One, future business opportunities and among other things the Company's leadership in the Smart Glasses and AR display industry. They are generally identified by words such as "believes," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "should" and similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based upon the Company's beliefs and assumptions as of the date of this release. The Company's actual results could differ materially due to risk factors and other items described in more detail in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Annual Reports and MD&A filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable Canadian securities regulators (copies of which may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.
Vuzix Media and Investor Relations Contact:
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SOURCE Vuzix Corporation
Released October 22, 2020