Haag-Streit launches Eyesi Indirect Ophthalmoscope ROP Simulator

Haag-Streit has launched the Eyesi Indirect Ophthalmoscope ROP Simulator (Eyesi Indirect ROP) for training of retinal examinations on premature babies and classification of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

ROP is one of the leading causes of serious visual impairment in premature infants, including blindness. With early diagnosis, severe structural malformations can be prevented. Yet, performing a retinal examination on a premature infant is challenging and must be carried out quickly and skilfully due to the baby’s lack of cooperation. Until now, residents have learned to perform the examination on the infant patient; the experienced doctor screens the infant first, and then the assistant doctor repeats the examination. This stressful situation can lead to a reduced heart rhythm and additional stress release for the already weak infant. Haag-Streit is now introducing a high-fidelity training system to allow residents to practice device handling and decision-making in a lifelike, yet risk-free, environment.

Close-to-life training environment

The Eyesi Indirect ROP is a mixed-reality simulator that offers a highly immersive training environment for proper device handling. The simulator resembles every relevant aspect of the real examination scenario. It consists of a head-mounted stereo display representing an ophthalmoscope, a patient model head with pliable eyes, and mimics of lenses and a scleral depressor.

The user is presented with an immersive 3D simulation of the patient; the indirect ophthalmoscope mimic, the handheld lens, and the patient’s eye must be aligned precisely to visualize the retina. The rubber eyes can be indented and tilted into different directions using the scleral depressor to add to an immersive, close-to-life environment. The effect of the manipulation is simulated in real-time.

Standardized curriculum

The Eyesi Indirect ROP offers a standardized curriculum featuring virtual patients with different stages of retinopathy, including aggressive ROP, plus disease and retinal detachment, thereby ensuring that each resident has been trained on the same range of pathologies. The simulator curriculum teaches the main characteristics of ROP and how to recognize the different zones and stages according to the “International Classification of Acute Stages of Retinopathy of Prematurity.” Trainees also become acquainted with their specific country’s guidelines for screening intervals and treatment of ROP. Online courses for self-guided learning provide medical background and complement the practical training on the simulator.

Objective assessment

The Eyesi Indirect ROP provides trainees and educators with a detailed assessment of examination and classification skills. Evaluated parameters are, for example, the light exposure, completeness of the retinal area examined, completeness and correctness of findings, appropriate use of indentation, or examination time. With the combination of a standardized curriculum and computer-based evaluation, the training system can ensure that each trainee reaches a standard performance level.

"Approximately 14,000 preterm infants in the US develop retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), making it one of the leading causes of preventable childhood blindness worldwide. Yet, in a world where the ROP exam is a source of stress for tiny patients, every touch matters,” says Manuela Sutter-Meler, Director of Sales at Haag-Streit Simulation.

“By bridging the gap between theory and practice, the Eyesi Indirect ROP empowers residents to gain proficiency in this highly skilled exam in a risk-free environment – improving patient safety, even when faced with the most challenging cases. This launch reinforces Haag-Streit’s passionate belief that simulation training is not simply a “nice to have” but the cornerstone of best ophthalmic practice.”

The Eyesi Indirect ROP is available as of April 2, 2024, and targets ophthalmic residencies as well as programs for neonatology.