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




Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom


Location information

Medical school information

Imperial College London London London se8 5an United Kingdom


Motivated medical student from Imperial College London, hugely interested in neuroscience and neurosurgery. Looking for any opportunities to get involved in related research/audit or shadowing opportunities.

2018-2024 Imperial College London
• Achieved distinction star (top decile) in year one overall and was rewarded with the Hawker’s scholarship in year two (for three highest achieving individuals in the year), exemplifying a strong work ethic and academic excellence even in the presence of other commitments
• Strong interest in research led me to organise academic and research related events as part of Society of Research and Academia subcommittee

2012-2018 Reading School, Reading
A-Levels: Biology (A*), Chemistry (A*), Maths (A*), Further Maths (A*), Extended Project Qualification (A*)
• Competed one of the 16 finalists across the country in the British Biology Olympiad 2018 in Warwick, following intensive training in laboratory and fine dissection techniques
• Produced a 5000 words dissertation for EPQ from 2016-2017 having gained interest in scientific developments, whilst developing time management skills to balance research with other various commitments

2018-2024 Imperial College London
• Regular structured laboratory experiences for first two years, consolidating fundamental laboratory and data analysis techniques
• Worked with other students as part of Clinical Research and Innovation programme in 2020 to evaluate current treatment options for COVID-19 and presented findings orally to the cohort and faculty
• Attended various courses to improve scientific research and critical appraisal skills

Aug 2018 Beijing United Family Hospital Beijing, China
Neurosurgery and Cardiovascular surgery shadowing
• Analysed scientific literature, worked with consultants to translate publications from English to Chinese
• Inspired by the immense concentration and precision in neurosurgical procedures, especially when coupled with advancements in technology and knowledge supported by ever evolving research.
2016 - 2017 Future Stories project Reading, UK
• Worked with students and teachers to coordinate, design, and deliver weekly teaching sessions for disadvantaged children over a one-year period
• Developed teamwork and presentation skills, hence was rewarded by being invited to all three stages of the program
• Organised and participated in events within the community to raise awareness and funding
2015 - 2017 Pembroke care home Reading, UK
• Arranged and participated in weekly activities at a local care home over a two-year period, in addition to celebrations for special occasions

• Surgery and clinical neuroscience – attended regular conferences, talks, and practical skill workshops relating to these areas to gain a broader understanding of the specialty, keep up with recent advancements, and develop my own technical skills
• Piano – Regular practice for over a decade, as demonstrated by achievement of Merit in Grade 8, alongside various performances at local charity concerts and competitions

Member information


YiFan Jia



Areas of interest

  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Neurosurgery

Languages spoken

  • English
  • Chinese

Membership organisations

  • The Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group (NANSIG) including NANSIG national working groups (e.g. NANSIG Pakistan)

Assistance and experience

Has provided assistance to hospitals in these countries

  • United Kingdom

Clinical placement in Imperial College Healthcare trust for one year

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