Opening of the Clinic Eye Training Center, an innovative ophthalmic training centre, pioneering in Europe

The Clínic Eye Training Center is the first practical ophthalmic training project in a public centre in Europe. The surgical unit has a special teaching area where 500 people will be trained each year

The Hospital Clínic de Barcelona promoted the creation of the Clinic Eye Training Center (CETC), a cutting-edge surgical training area, which forms part of the new ophthalmic surgical unit, on the Maternitat (Maternity Hospital) site. This is the first practical ophthalmic training project in a public centre in Europe, which is integrated into a surgical unit with a specific area for teaching. The objective is for undergraduate medical and bioengineering students, medical resident interns and ophthalmologists to receive the best training in this speciality. It is calculated that around 500 people will be trained in this area each year. The Clínic Eye Training Center was opened by Dr. Josep Maria Argimon, the Minister of Health, Dr. Josep Maria Campistol, Director General of the Hospital Clínic, and Dr. Alfredo Adán, Director of the Hospital Clínic Ophthalmology Institute, among others.

The most innovative technology at the service of ophthalmic surgery

The CETC, along with the new surgical unit, covers an area of 1,000 m2 and allows for the implementation of the most innovative ophthalmic surgery techniques. It consists of a training room and a simulation laboratory, or Dry Lab, which allows students to learn the different surgical and diagnostic platforms and to acquire specific technical skills. There is also a Wet Lab area, for experimental surgery, in order to train students in cataract, retinal, corneal, glaucoma and oculoplastic surgery.

Around 30 operations a day will be carried out in the four operating theatres in the surgical unit. They have the most innovative technology that allows different types of operation to be carried out: cataract operations with femtosecond laser technology and intraocular lens implants with new materials and designs; microincision vitrectomy surgery; corneal transplants with selective techniques; or glaucoma surgery with microimplants.  Moreover, they also have an intraoperative microscope-integrated OCT (optical coherence tomography) system, which allows for greater precision during surgery, so the postoperative results are better; and 3D heads-up display surgery with augmented reality, which allows for better visualization and greater precision.

The surgical unit also has Estimtrack technology, which is present in other operating theatres at the Hospital Clínic. It is a programme that informs family members in real time about the surgical patient’s condition. This reduces the family members’ anxiety whilst they wait and, at the same time, increases the efficiency of the surgical process, which improves the daily management of the unit.

The operating theatres have smart storerooms, which ensure all the material that is used in the surgical unit is traceable and make it possible to keep track of all the stock available, to record consumption and facilitate restocking. They also have a sterilization area.

The fact that the training area and the surgical unit are together enables the students, in addition to their practical training, to watch in real time some of the 40 eye operations that are carried out each day. This also allows for communication with the outpatient department, which receives over 200 visits a day.

In order to build this new unit, the Hospital Clínic Ophthalmology Institute received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the MOOMA (Ophthalmic Organizational Model Framework) project.

According to Dr. Alfredo Adán, Director of the Hospital Clínic Ophthalmology Institute, “This new space aims to be an innovative place for training surgical and non-surgical specialties in the field of ophthalmology from a comprehensive point of view. The CETC wants to have an impact on society promoting, along with companies in the sector, RD&I projects that address the needs that are not covered in the ophthalmology area.”

Training for the Third World

Thanks to the creation of this unit, teaching will also be offered to professionals from third world countries by means of the "Learn For Sight” cooperation programme. Through the programme, these specialists will be given access to the Hospital Clínic's training courses and resources so that, once trained, they will be able to put the knowledge and skills they have acquired into practice in their countries of origin.

Watch photos of the Clinic Eye Training Center opening at Clinic