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

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Sandi Lam, MD

Sandi Lam, MD


Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, United States of America


Location information

Hospital address

Texas Children's Hospital 6701 Fannin St, CCC 1230 Houston TX 77030 United States of America

Hospital type


Hospital description


This is an approximate location


I am a pediatric neurosurgeon at Texas Children's Hospital, a high volume academic teaching and training program affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. We perform the full spectrum of Pediatric Neurosurgery in our relatively large group and actively engage in innovation of surgical techniques. My specific clinical focus for program development in the US is on pediatric cerebrovascular disease, endoscopic/open/minimally invasive epilepsy surgery, and craniofacial surgery, though our practice includes general pediatric neurosurgery such as tumors, congenital anomalies, and hydrocephalus. When I am abroad, I am happy to help with any type of neurosurgery. 

Personally, I am interested in mentorship as well as education and research. My research program is on data, quality, and outcomes, especially as it intersects with the practice of neurosurgery and with health policy. For international work, I value the opportunity to build collaborative relationships as well as the opportunity for capacity building to enable improving health one-by-one and across populations. 






Member information


Sandi Lam

Member type

Individual independent practitioner




  • Trained paediatric neurosurgeon

Languages spoken

  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish

Professional affiliations / memberships

  • ISPN
  • AANS
  • ASPN
  • CNS

Social profiles

Current and past partnerships

Has current partners or past partnership experience in these countries

  • China
  • Kenya

I have provided yearly Pediatric Neurosurgeon coverage and engaged in collaboration with the Pediatric Neurosurgery service in Kijabe Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya, starting from 2011. Each visit is typically 2 weeks long. We always look forward to the knowledge/skills exchange and the educational exchange. In addition, we typically collect and bring surgical and clinical supplies from the US to Kijabe Hospital. 

We have had North American residents, fellows, and attending neurosurgeons come with us to visit the team at Kijabe Hospital. We have made so many connections and friendships because of this special place. From a Pediatric Neurosurgery standpoint, the caseload is high and the clinical service is busy. The need is great. 

I started working with Dr. Leland Albright and Susan Ferson in 2011. Dr. Albright had established academic training opportunities with a Pediatric Neurosurgery rotation for Kenyan neurosurgery residents, as well as a Pediatric Neurosurgery fellowship. The Pediatric Neurosurgery service transitioned to Dr. Humphrey Okechi, and now Dr. Emmanuel Wegoye. We would like to continue at least yearly visits to continue to work with Dr. Wegoye, a bright, thoughtful, and dedicated Pediatric Neurosurgeon. We invite colleagues to join in our collaboration, or to start new collaborations with me. 






Conditions treated

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Spinal dysraphism
  • Trauma
  • Tumor
  • Vascular
  • Craniofacial
  • Spine
  • Epilepsy
  • Spasticity
  • Peripheral Nerve

Equipment used

  • Drill
  • Microinstruments
  • Microscope
  • Neuroendoscope Flexible
  • Neuroendoscope Rigid
  • Frameless navigation
  • Spinal instrumentation
  • MRI
  • Angiography
  • CT
  • ECOG