The History of Cybersight

Since its launch in 2003, Cybersight has brought together our expert volunteers to teach and support eye care teams globally – virtually. By using the latest advancements in internet & mobile technologies, we’re able to offer online learning & virtual consultations, enabling us to help eliminate avoidable blindness, even in areas we cannot reach.

In these challenging times, Cybersight is proving more important than ever. To celebrate its history, we’ve put together some of its highlights from over the years below.

Take a Trip Back Through History...

1998: Dr. Eugene Helveston with local eye doctors in Havana, Cuba


On a sight saving program in Cuba, Dr. Eugene Helveston took with him a computer, monitor, printer and two digital cameras. This meant he could offer support in the diagnosis and treatment from his home in Indianapolis via email.


The official Cybersight website was launched the same year Apple launched iTunes, to connect 20 of our expert volunteers with medical professionals and patients all over the world.


In 2005, we expanded the Cybersight offering by creating our first e-learning program. This allowed medical professionals around the world to access free learning resources and gain new skills wherever they were based.


In March 2007, we hit a milestone of conducting our 3000th online consultation. The request came from Dr. Beata Kaczmarek, who worked at the Krakow District Eye Hospital in Poland. At the time, Dr Kaczmarek was one of 541 partners worldwide who had taken advantage of our online consultation services.


In 2010, Cybersight received the President’s Award for Health Delivery, Quality and Transformation from the American Telemedicine Association. This was a testament to the cutting-edge technology and high-quality service that we offered on the platform.


In 2014, we replaced our original e-consultation system with a new, modern platform.


In the same year, we also started increasing the number of regional mentors on Cybersight, including the addition of its first South African mentor, allowing medical professionals to seek advice from expert volunteers more local to them.


In 2016, we live-streamed our first broadcast from the Flying Eye Hospital to medical professionals around the world.


In 2018, we integrated artificial intelligence technology into Cybersight. This is used to analyze images of the back of the eye taken with any standard camera or smartphone.

This technology helps eye health professionals detect and diagnose sight-threatening eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as quickly request a second opinion from our network of medical experts.


In 2019 alone, we trained 7,600 eye health professionals in 183 countries with Cybersight live teaching events and facilitated more than 1,800 patient consultations.


A record-breaking number of eye care professionals turned to Cybersight to stay connected and continue learning during the pandemic. In 2020, Cybersight not only kept our work going strong, but also broke all previous records. We more than doubled the number of registered eye professionals from the preceding year.

Virtual training for Cameroon eye health professionals


Thanks to Cybersight, we are now training more people in more places than ever before. By the end of 2021, our platform reached 56,000 registered users. Our vision for Cybersight is to be the world's leading eye health learning and mentorship platform. Thanks to your support, we’re well on our way.

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