Establishing Digital Training Hubs in Northern and Western India

In India, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness with at least 12 million people affected and nearly 1.2 million people blind from the disease.

Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. In India, though, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness with at least 12 million people affected and nearly 1.2 million people blind from the disease. Of those affected, more than 90 percent of glaucoma cases remain undiagnosed in the community.

The blinding challenge posed by Glaucoma is, further, coupled with the lack of adequate facilities and trained manpower.

Orbis, in partnership with HV Desai Eye Hospital and Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, is working towards strengthening infrastructure and building training capacity of eye health professionals on Glaucoma. Supported by Santen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the three-year program will develop training infrastructure by establishing digital training hubs and equip Glaucoma specialists through blended learning sandwich fellowships, observerships, hospital-based trainings, webinars, and Continuous Medical Education (CME).

Developing Training Infrastructure

To ensure that the ophthalmologists and eye care teams, are equipped with best in class training on Glaucoma, Orbis is working with its partners to build state-of-art wet labs, which can be leveraged to deliver high quality simulation training. The wet labs at both the partner hospitals will be upgraded to Digital Training Hubs (DTH) offering enhanced ophthalmic education to ophthalmologists, ophthalmologists-in-training, ophthalmic nurses and counsellors. DTHs will combine simulation, digitization, tele-mentorship, telemedicine, and tele-education with traditional in-person hands on training.

Glaucoma tailored courses will also be developed in multiple streams like ophthalmology, optometry, nursing, and counselling. Going beyond the teams at hospitals, the course will be offered to residents/ophthalmologists from local government/ private medical colleges.

Faculty/ trainers will be oriented at partner hospitals on various digital learning tools and wet lab courses to ensure sustainability of the initiative. The CME for trainers will equip them with latest developments in the field of ophthalmic education.

Conducting Glaucoma Trainings

There is a dearth of trained ophthalmologists and paramedics in effectively managing Glaucoma. Due to lack of resources and growing patient load, it becomes difficult for institutions to send doctors or paramedics for long-term fellowships or invite experienced, renowned faculty for in-house training. Moreover, there are no training programs available to provide customized hands-on training on recent advancements in glaucoma.

To address the challenge, Orbis is leveraging its tele-mentorship and tele-education platform, Cybersight to adopt innovative training practices. Through Cybersight, the sandwich fellowship is offering distance learning, remote surgical mentorship, wet lab mentorship, and hands on surgical skills development.

In undergraduate and ophthalmology residency programs, due to the wide variety of subjects to be covered, extensive training in diagnosis and therapy of glaucoma is not possible. Hence based on the training needs of trainee, observerships of one week, one month or three months will be provided for improved diagnosis and treatment of Glaucoma patients.

Further, customized training opportunities for eye health professionals involved will be delivered through Hospital-based trainings. The HBT is a specially designed Orbis capacity-building event where Orbis Volunteer Faculty comes to the partner hospital and works together with the local eye health professionals to transfer skills in specific techniques and specialties.

While developing the initiative, we realized that training glaucoma specialists might not be enough. Given the sheer volume of individuals who have glaucoma or who are at risk for the disease, there is need to train more healthcare professionals. As most care is provided by general ophthalmologists, the project will orient general ophthalmologists in glaucoma diagnosis, care and management and the importance of early referral.

The project will also conduct webinars on glaucoma management and care from time to time for trainees/faculty across the country. These webinars will cover topics for such as innovations in glaucoma, advances in imaging, AI, etc.

Engaging Medical Institutions

To meet the growing eye health needs of the country, there is an urgent need to improve ophthalmology residency training in India. Residents do not get an opportunity to perform enough number of surgeries, under supervision and independently, to groom them into confident and proficient surgeons. The Program will offer residents/ ophthalmologists to enrol and access wet lab trainings, seek remote surgical mentorships and undertake e-consult services in Glaucoma.

Our Digital Training Hubs Will Bring Forth


trained medical professionals




Hospital Based Trainings


Continued Medical Education programs


Sandwich Fellowships




Fundamental Courses on Glaucoma

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