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Leading Eye Care Charity Orbis Announces a New Partnership With Heidelberg Engineering

High-tech imaging solutions company and global non-profit team up to fight avoidable blindness around the world

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(PRESS RELEASE) VIENNA – Sight-saving charity Orbis announces a new partnership with high-tech imaging solutions company Heidelberg Engineering. The company will help improve vision services by funding crucial teaching opportunities and research. Its contribution will focus on training eye care professionals around the world via Cybersight (Orbis’s award-winning telemedicine and e-learning platform). It will also fund the charity’s research into retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina most commonly affecting children under the age of five.

Ninety percent of the 1.1 billion people living with vision loss and blindness reside in low-and middle-income countries. Cybersight is dedicated to providing eye care specialists in these locations with free, virtual access to training, knowledge, and other resources.

Heidelberg Engineering’s contribution to Cybersight will support the delivery of live webinars on topics including optical coherence tomography (OCT), a non-invasive imaging test that uses light to capture cross-sectional scans of the back of the eye. An OCT exam can help detect serious eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
In the first half of 2023, Cybersight webinars have reached over 15,000 attendees. The new sessions supported by the Heidelberg Engineering Academy have the potential to equip thousands of ophthalmic professionals worldwide to provide higher quality eye care for their communities.

The company’s generous funding will also allow Orbis to continue its research project into retinoblastoma, which affects 9,000 children worldwide each year. Ninety-two percent of children diagnosed live in low-and-middle-income countries where late diagnosis, limited accessibility to eye care, and lack of treatment-specific resources contribute to a 40% survival rate within three years of diagnosis.

The project, which will also utilise Cybersight, will investigate the impact of artificial intelligence on worldwide retinoblastoma care. It will also look at how treatment, outcomes, and disease-specific knowledge continues to change over time.
Dr. Hunter Cherwek, vice president, Clinical Services & Technologies at Orbis International states “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.”

“Scientific research and clinical education play a large part in fostering the diagnostic confidence that has become synonymous with our global brand,” explains Arianna Schoess-Vargas, managing director of Heidelberg Engineering GmbH. “This new partnership with Orbis will make valuable knowledge accessible to thousands of eye care professionals and contribute to meaningful scientific research that will not only save sight but will save lives.”
Orbis has been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades. With a network of partners across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the charity is working to make eye care available everywhere, for everyone, so that no one has to experience the consequences of avoidable blindness and sight loss.

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