Cyber-Sight reaches 3,000 consultations
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Retinoblastoma Conference 2007
New Cyber-Sight design
Cyber-Sight Links with the Eye Pathologist
Re-opening a Consultation Case
Ophthalmic Surgery Simulator Training
EYESI Ophthalmic Surgery Simulator

Travel Through Time:
From Lantern Slides to E-Consultation

In 1965, lantern slides were commonly used for lectures. They were large, measuring 3x5 inches, and made of two pieces of glass with lettering and/or pictures between.  These were handmade and expensive; meaning that only a few, four or five, would be used in a 15-minute talk. These were soon supplanted by 2x2 Kodachrome slides that had to be prepared well in advance and could not be altered easily.  Regular communication was carried out by phone and by letters that were typed, proofread, re-typed, signed, and sent. THAT WAS IT!    Lantern Slide
In a time span that encompasses a career in medicine, we now have computers, word processing, the Internet, e-mail, Skype communication, digital imaging, and more.  These miraculous advances have made it possible for Cyber-Sight to connect partner doctors with expert mentors, provide students with access to study material offering Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit, and enable anyone who visits the site to find a wealth of general material in ophthalmology including a new "Question" each week.

Why then does Cyber-Sight E-Consultation shun the advantages of real time consultation, in favor of a static "store and forward" format?  There are two reasons. The first is that even with all of the wonderful new technology we have at our beck and call, we cannot cause two people, separated by great distance, in different time zones and with unique and not always predictable demands on their time, to be routinely available at the exact same time. This weakness was possibly the reason why there was initial popularity and then decline in the use of telemedicine in the early years, nearly thirty years ago. Secondly, there are problems associated with transmitting moving images of patient examination that arise mostly because of difficulties related to image transmission due to limitations in bandwidth availability.  Notwithstanding, E-Consultation can and does accept small videos that are still store and forward because they are sent in file attachments and not viewed in real time.

Erin Trieb, ORBIS International
Photo Credit: Erin Trieb, ORBIS International

While ORBIS Telemedicine, Cyber-Sight, has taken advantage of advances in technology, it has also has responded to limitations of human state and deficiencies in infrastructure when offering telemedicine products.  "Store and forward" technology for patient care management has been the choice for Cyber-Sight E-Consultation, a service that has handled 32,000 communications dealing with 7,200 patients in the past eight years.  Cyber-Sight has an eye on the future while dealing in the present and, for the foreseeable future, will emphasize the "store and forward"!