Crestron has teamed up with Orbis International, a non-profit humanitarian organisation that works in developing countries to fight blindness. Crestron donated state-of-the-art technology for Orbis’ next-generation Flying Eye Hospital (which is located on board an MD-10 aircraft), which will play an instrumental role in training eye care professionals across the globe.

The new Flying Eye Hospital was unveiled June 2 at an exclusive press event at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the first leg of a month-long tour of the United States, including stops in Sacramento, Memphis, Newark, Washington, D.C., and Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital travels to underserved areas to treat patients at risk of losing their sight, while also offering local doctors the chance to be trained from the plane.

The mobile teaching hospital features an onboard ophthalmic training centre, which hosts a 46-seat classroom, full surgical suite, operating theatre, laser treatment room, communications centre, recovery room and audiovisual/IT room.

As an Orbis partner, Crestron has provided over $300,000 in A/V and automation solutions – in addition to integration services – to enable the medical staff to operate on their patients, while allowing other local doctors to observe procedures from the classroom.

Crestron touch screens located throughout the aircraft create a fully integrated solution, including audio and visual distribution systems, multimedia processors, cameras and monitors.

All of the inputs and monitor outputs are connected using Crestron DigitalMedia technology allowing for any camera picture to be routed to any display. This provides total flexibility in the communication from room to room all over the aircraft.

In addition, a Crestron Sonnex multi-room audio system and Crestron speakers provide audio throughout the plane. From switchers to video systems, everything can be seamlessly controlled through a single, user-friendly, Crestron touch screen.

“It is estimated that up to 80% of blindness is preventable and 90% of those who are affected live in developing countries where they can’t get the treatment they need,” states Bob Ranck, president and CEO of Orbis. “The Orbis model is to train local doctors, nurses and medical technicians to manage blindness in their own communities long after the Flying Eye Hospital has departed. Through Crestron’s incredibly generous donation we are able to enhance the teaching capabilities on our plane. Their technology enables a level of collaboration, communication, and learning that we would never have thought possible.”

“We are proud that Crestron’s technology is at the backbone of this extraordinary teaching facility, and that we are able to make a difference in so many lives,” adds Randy Klein, CEO of Crestron.

Continuing a partnership that began back in 2013, Crestron’s work with Orbis was the passion project of the late George Feldstein, its founder and former chairman, whose interest in both aviation and philanthropy made the Flying Eye Hospital a natural fit.

A team from Crestron Services Provider, ControlWorks Consulting, led by Lincoln King-Cliby, provided programming, user interface design, consulting and commissioning services.

More on the Flying Eye Hospital can be found here.

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