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

Marilyn W. Butler, MD MPH MPhil

Marilyn W. Butler, MD MPH MPhil

General Surgeon

Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Portland, United States of America

User

Location information

Hospital address

Doernbecher Children's Hospital 501 N Graham Street, Suite 300 Portland OR 97227 United States of America

Hospital type

University-affiliated

Hospital description

Third-Level Hospital (Referral)

Hospital website

https://www.ohsu.edu/visit/doernbecher-childrens-hospital

This is a teaching hospital

Member information

Name

Marilyn Butler

Member type

Individual independent practitioner

Specialty

General Surgeon

Subspecialties

  • Paediatric

Languages spoken

  • English

Professional affiliations / memberships

  • AAP
  • WOFAPS
  • PAPS
  • IPEG
  • EUPSA
  • APSA

Social profiles

Current and past partnerships

Has current partners or past partnership experience in these countries

  • Viet Nam

Leads regular trips to at least one hospital/country

Offers mentorship as part of regular trips to these countries

  • Viet Nam

I have been working with colleagues in Viet Nam for over ten years, in the children's hospitals in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Recently I have been joining colleagues from an American NGO named IPSAC-VN, which organizes visits to Viet Nam twice yearly, with teams of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, to help build capacity in the larger cities as well as in provincial hospitals.

Conditions treated

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Bowel Obstruction (parasitic, adhesive, mass)
  • Appendicitis
  • Paediatric
  • Tracheo-esophageal fistula
  • Newborn intestinal atresias
  • Ano-rectal malformations
  • Hirschsprung’s Disease
  • Tumors (Wilms’, neuroblastoma, hepatoblastoma)
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Head and neck anomalies
  • Abdominal wall defects (gastroschisis, omphalocoele)
  • Biliary atresia/choledochal cysts
  • Congenital pulmonary airway malformations
  • Vascular anomalies

Equipment used

  • Minimally invasive surgery (MIS)
  • Single port surgery
  • Harmonic scalpel
  • Wound protectors
  • Straight stapling devices
  • End-to-end anastomosis (EEA) circular stapler
  • Vacuum assisted closure device
  • Temporary abdominal wound closure
  • Synthetic or biologic patches/mesh
  • Gastroschisis springloaded silos
  • Stimulator for anorectal malformation (ARM) procedures
  • CT
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
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