Remote expertise through the power of merged reality

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

Add Help Lightning to your account

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.

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.

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.

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

Maxwell Boakye, MD MPH MBA FACS

Maxwell Boakye, MD MPH MBA FACS


University of Louisville, Louisville, United States of America


Location information

Hospital address

University of Louisville 220 Abraham Flexner Way, 1506 Louisville KY 40202 United States of America

Hospital type


Hospital description

Academic (Residency Program)


I am currently a Professor of Neurosurgery, Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery, Director of Spine fellowship and Clinical director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Center at the University of Louisville. After completing secondary school at Prempeh College in Kumasi, Ghana in 1983, I completed undergrad studies in Physics and mathematics at Rutgers University, NJ in 1989, medical training at Cornell Medical College, NY in 1995 and Neurosurgical residency training at SUNY Health Science center, NY in 2002. Additional training includes a Howard Hughes Research fellowship in electrophysiology at the NIH in 1992-4, a 2 year research fellowship in sensorimotor neuroplasticity and neurophysiology at SUNY health Science center during neurosurgery residency, complex spine fellowship at Emory University in 2003 and spine neuroncology training in 2003 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Subsequently I was Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University 2003-2010 and started my current position at the University of Louisville in 2011.
I am interested in Global neurosurgery and giving back to neurosurgery in Ghana where I was born. My interests are to partner with organizations such as FIENS and WFNS to help develop and raise the standard of evidence based neurosurgery in Ghana. I heard about Intersurgeon at a recent Global neurosurgery conference and through this organization hope to identify network of surgeons with similar interests of helping to develop neurosurgery in Ghana
I would like to establish an annual neurosurgery/neuroscience course in Ghana and use it as a springboard to help develop Ghana neurosurgery.

Member information


Maxwell Boakye

Member type

Individual independent practitioner




  • Adult neurosurgeon

Languages spoken

  • Akan
  • English
  • Twi

Professional affiliations / memberships

  • AANS
  • CNS

Social profiles

Current and past partnerships

Has current partners or past partnership experience in these countries

  • Nicaragua

Leads regular trips to at least one hospital/country

Offers mentorship as part of regular trips to these countries

  • Ghana

A team from our Neurosurgery department at University of Louisville led by Dr. Joseph Neimat has visited and assisted with neurosurgery twice in Nicaragua.
I was in Korlebu Hospital in Ghana in December 2018 and assisted with some surgeries and gave lectures to neurosurgery residents
I hosted Dr. Jerome Boatey, a Ghana based neurosurgeon at the University of Louisville in January and July 2019 and procured some equipment and supplies for him to take back to Ghana and introduced him to a Louisville based philanthropic medical supplies company. I also attended the recent Global neurosurgery conference in Weill Cornell Medical College in New York with Dr. Thomas Dakurah, head of the Ghana neurosurgery at Korlebu hospital, Accra, Ghana and working with him and his group to imrpove state of neurosurgery in Ghana. While in Ghana I met many of the local neurosurgeons and toured the facilities at Ridge hospital and Korlebu hospital. Moving forward I am planning to visit Ghana twice a year every 6 months. I was there in December 2018, to assist with some neurosurgical procedures. I established a whatsup group of Ghana based and Ghanaian neurosurgeons abroad and other neurosurgeons interested in developing neurosurgery in Ghana and the West African region. This is serving as a forum for brain storming and discussions about Ghana neurosurgery.

Conditions treated

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Trauma
  • Vascular
  • Spine
  • Spinal dysraphism
  • Tumor
  • Craniofacial
  • Peripheral Nerve
  • Pain/Functional
  • Skull Base

Equipment used

  • Drill
  • Microinstruments
  • Microscope
  • Spinal instrumentation
  • MRI
  • CT