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

Steffen K. Rosahl, MD PhD

Steffen K. Rosahl, MD PhD


Helios Klinikum, Erfurt, Germany


Location information

Hospital address

Helios Klinikum Nrdhaeuser Str. 74 Erfurt Thuringia 99096 Germany

Hospital type

Private University-affiliated

Hospital description

Third-Level Hospital (Referral)

Hospital website

This is a teaching hospital


Steffen K. Rosahl is Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Helios Clinic in Erfurt and Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Freiburg, Germany.
As a neurophysiologist and neurosurgeon, he has been associated with several medical and research centers including the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California Davis (1992-93), the International Neuroscience Institute Hannover (2000-2003) and the University of Freiburg, Germany (2003-2006). He was principle investigator in a study to develop auditory brainstem prostheses funded by the German Research Association (DFG) and conducted research on electronic interfaces to the central and peripheral nervous system funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and private companies.
His expertise covers the whole field of Neurological Surgery with an emphasis on neurofibromatosis and neurooncology. He introduced the University of Freiburg to a certified European (EANS) program for neurosurgical training in 2005. In Erfurt, he founded and developed an interdisciplinary Centre for Neurofibromatosis.
After creating a series of standard patient information forms, he became Chief Topic Editor for Neurosurgery for the publisher Thieme-proCompliance, Germany, in 2011.
As a medical advisor he helped design the first digital surgical microscope (DSM) of the company Aesculap (B. Braun AG, Melsungen, Germany) and tested the first prototype in Erfurt in March 2019.
He was also part of a team of developers to create a smartphone telehealth app that allows patients to access their medical records, book appointments, and get in touch with doctors in the Helios chain (hello).
Steffen K. Rosahl is a reviewer for several neurosurgical journals and of the German Bundestag as well as vice chairman of the task force on neural prosthetics in the Initiative for Micromedicine of the German Association of Electrical Engineers (VDE). As faculty member of the European Academy for consequences of scientific and technological advances Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler GmbH he has co-authored a volume on “Interventions in the brain - Changing psyche and society”.
Recently, he has been involved in a positional paper of the German Society of Surgeons (DGCH) on digital health technology and is appointed speaker of the commission on digitalization of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC).

Member information


Steffen Rosahl

Member type

Individual independent practitioner




  • Trained paediatric neurosurgeon
  • Adult neurosurgeon

Languages spoken

  • English
  • German

Professional affiliations / memberships

  • EANS

Conditions treated

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Neurotrauma
  • Neurovascular
  • Spine
  • Spinal dysraphism
  • Tumor
  • Craniofacial
  • Peripheral Nerve
  • Radiosurgery
  • Skull Base

Equipment used

  • Drill
  • Microinstruments
  • Microscope
  • Neuroendoscope Flexible
  • Neuroendoscope Rigid
  • Frameless navigation
  • Spinal instrumentation
  • MRI
  • Angiography
  • CT
  • ECOG
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery platform
Last updated: