The non-profit will partner with the imaging company to prevent blindness and fund new retinoblastoma research.
On Friday, Orbis, a global charity dedicated to fighting avoidable blindness, announced a partnership programme with Heidelberg Engineering. The announcement was made during the 41st ESCRS annual meeting. In a press release, Orbis announced the collaboration will make use of its e-learning and telemedicine platform Cybersight to train eyecare professionals.1
The global mission of Orbis seeks to serve the majority of people with vision loss and blindness; according to the non-profit, 90% of the 1.1 billion people affected live in low- or middle-income countries. Heidelberg Engineering will support live webinars via the Heidelberg Engineering Academy, with new sessions on optical coherence tomography (OCT) and related imaging technologies.
The company will also fund new research on retinoblastoma. This rare retinal cancer most commonly affects 9,000 paeditatric patients worldwide each year, most of whom are under 5 years of age. In a statement, Orbis said 92% percent of children diagnosed live in low- and middle-income countries. Barriers such as late diagnosis, limited accessibility to eye care, and lack of resources contribute to a 40% survival rate within 3 years of diagnosis.
Hunter Cherwek, MD, Vice President, Clinical Services & Technologies at Orbis International, said, “Orbis is delighted to be partnering with Heidelberg Engineering. Retinoblastoma outcomes for children in low-and-middle income countries could be significantly improved with earlier diagnosis and enhanced treatment.”
“As a global leader in imaging and health care technology, Heidelberg Engineering’s generous contribution and partnership will mean we can both offer enhanced knowledge for eye care practitioners via Cybersight, and pioneer new research that will help improve outcomes for children facing retinoblastoma across the world,” Cherwek added.