Help Lightning

Remote expertise through the power of merged reality

Access to this ground-breaking technology is included at no cost with an InterSurgeon clinician membership. Help Lightning allows experienced surgeons to guide and interactively assist others during operations in real-time, anywhere in the world.

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What are the benefits of Help Lightning for surgeons?

In light of the pandemic, and for the foreseeable future, the conventional ways of establishing collaborative partnerships through physical visits are not going to be possible. However, because Help Lightning allows surgeons to collaborate remotely, partnerships can still develop – and more easily than ever before. Help Lightning can be used as a tool for education, mentorship and instruction – as well as for intraoperative case management. It allows both surgical planning and real-time intraoperative advice.

How does it work?

Watch this video to learn how Help Lightning works. This shows use cases in other industries – it’s every bit as useful with surgical applications and can also be used hands-free. All you need to use Help Lightning is your smartphone and an internet connection, though it can also be used with tablets, desktop computers and smart surgical glasses.

Download a beginner’s guide to Help Lightning here: Help Lightning Basic Training

Virtual help in real-time

Help Lightning uses Merged Reality to blend two real-time video streams – e.g. that of a remote surgical expert and another surgeon that needs help – into a collaborative environment. This Merged Reality allows the expert to virtually reach out and direct real surgical procedures or training.

Help Lightning

Use your existing devices

Help Lightning runs on your existing mobile devices (iOS, Android) or a web-browser on laptop and desktop computers.

Surgeons can now provide remote assistance as though they’re working side-by-side. They can telestrate, freeze images, use hand gestures, and even add real objects into the merged reality environment.

Help Lightning Software

Be there instantly

Help Lightning is easy, fast and intuitive.

Once you’re in a merged reality call with a colleague or customer, simply tap the mode to change how you interact. Choose whether you’re giving or receiving help, and start collaborating in seconds. Help Lightning’s unique Merged Reality can add missing visual cues, gestures, and non-verbal communication methods to any session.

Help Lightning
Help Lightning

Using Help Lightning with smart surgical glasses

Take Help Lightning to the next level by pairing it with smart glasses. This innovation allows the wearer to benefit from the assistance of AI or a third-party while performing surgery. When used in conjunction with Help Lightning, smart glasses mean that another surgeon can see exactly what you are seeing and what you’re doing – and also have their hands superimposed over your field of view.

There are a number of models available from different manufacturers including VUZIX, Zebra, and RealWear.

The Advantage of Remote Expertise

Studies show that adding gestures and nonverbal clues substantially improves the speed of understanding. Furthermore, nonverbal cues are 430% more effective than verbal cues and nonverbal cues make Help Lightning’s combination of verbal and nonverbal communication up to 10 times more effective.

Sources: Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, British Journal of Clinical Psychology

Join InterSurgeon today and use Help Lightning for free

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Rebecca Silvers, DNP, CPNP-AC

Rebecca Silvers, DNP, CPNP-AC


University of California San Francisco Benioff's Children's Hospital, Oakland, United States of America


Location information

Hospital address

University of California San Francisco Benioff's Children's Hospital 744 52nd Stree Oakland CA 94609 United States of America

Hospital type


Hospital description

National Specialist Hospital

This is a teaching hospital


Dr. Rebecca Silvers is the founding director of the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Center for Global Nursing (CGN) at the Institute of Global Health Sciences. The CGN aims to promote pathways for nurse participation in global health sciences through education, service, and research. Rebecca holds an appointment as an assistant clinical professor at UCSF School of Nursing. She continues her clinical work as a pediatric nurse practitioner in critical care and neurosurgery divisions at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. Rebecca is also the Director of Education for the UCSF Center for Health Equity in Surgery and Anesthesia (CHESA). She is the nursing lead for UCSF’s WHO Collaborating Center for Emergency, Critical, and Operative Care.
Her clinical background includes more than 20 years of experience in clinical positions as a registered nurse and certified pediatric nurse practitioner in critical care at eight of the top 10 children’s hospitals across the United States. Her global health expertise has developed over the last sixteen years while contributing to initiatives in more than fifteen countries. Her work on sustainable critical care program development in LMICs has led to opportunities as a critical care education consultant for the World Health Organization, United Nations, Global Surgery Fund, and non-governmental organizations, including Friends without a Border, Partners in Health, and Novick Cardiac Alliance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was the nurse lead for the USAID UCSF COVID-19 response, launching the Open Critical Care Project, an online resource designed to support those building critical care capacity. She has contributed to recently published clinical tools, including the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Severe Acute Respiratory Toolkit (SARI) and the Essential Emergency and Critical Care (EECC) training modules. Currently, Rebecca is working on content development for the WHO Basic Critical Care Course. She also contributes to surgical education and workforce development projects, including as a technical expert for the UN Global Surgery Learning Hub and the nursing research lead for the Global Neurosurgery Consortium.
Dr. Silvers earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from the Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University in Montréal, Canada. She earned a master's degree in nursing from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She also completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Vanderbilt, with a minor in education and global health, specializing in quality improvement and program evaluation.

Member information


Rebecca Silvers

Member type

Individual independent practitioner




  • Critical care nursing
  • Neurosurgical nursing
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Paediatric nursing (medical and surgical)
  • Perianaesthesia & recovery area nursing
  • Perioperative nursing (operating room nursing & maxillofacial, oral and dental nursing)
  • Surgical nursing

Languages spoken

  • English
  • French

Professional affiliations / memberships

  • ANA – American Nurses Association
  • Sigma – Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
  • AACN – American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • AANP – American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Social profiles

Current and past partnerships

Has current partners or past partnership experience in these countries

  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Haiti
  • Ghana
  • Kenya

Will update

Last updated: