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UTC Aerospace Systems Equips Orbis Flying Eye Hospital With World's First Flying Simulation Center

• New eye surgery simulation center enables Orbis to train and deploy volunteer medical professionals, increasing the number of patients it can serve

Nov 11, 2017

DUBAI AIR SHOW, November 12, 2017 – UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), today announced that its $1 million contribution to Orbis International will establish the world’s first Mobile Simulation Center outfitted for an aircraft. The Mobile Simulation Center and associated training curricula is being developed by Orbis in conjunction with several leaders in simulation training, including the Center for Virtual Care at the University of California, Davis.

By simulating surgical eye procedures within the new training program, Orbis will increase and accelerate the deployment of volunteer faculty into the field, while decreasing training costs by 40 percent. The additional volunteers will make a direct impact on the number of patients that Orbis can treat.  

Expert volunteers on the Flying Eye Hospital travel to countries with under-resourced medical services and train local health care teams to treat eye issues, while also conducting critical sight-saving and restorative surgeries. It is a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft.

UTC Aerospace Systems first announced its contribution to Orbis at the Paris Air Show in June.

“Orbis and the Flying Eye Hospital have made a tremendous impact on the world by restoring vision to hundreds of thousands of people in need,” said Dave Gitlin, President, UTC Aerospace Systems. “The Mobile Simulation Center will help Orbis widen its influence by offering training to more volunteer medical professionals in even more remote areas. It will enable them to get in the field faster and make a difference faster.  We are so proud to be associated with such a world-class organization that makes a profound difference in people’s lives every day.” 

Last year, Orbis volunteers helped doctors complete 1,961 training courses, conduct 3.53 million eye screenings and exams, and perform 83,176 surgeries at partner institutes and aboard the Flying Eye Hospital.

“Medicine learned the value of simulation training from aviation. This Mobile Simulation Center program will allow us to take this important training tool to areas where it is not currently available,” said Bob Ranck, President and CEO of Orbis International. “This innovative technology and curriculum will allow us to teach new techniques and competencies, in addition to refreshing current skills and improving patient safety as to provide better trained healthcare workers and safer practices for communities in need.”

There are 253 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired, but 75 percent of these cases are curable, treatable or preventable, according to the World Health Organization. Eighty-nine percent of people who are visually impaired from avoidable causes live in low-income settings where quality eye care is limited or nonexistent.

About UTC Aerospace Systems

UTC Aerospace Systems is one of the world's largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products. UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries, supporting a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities. For more information about the company, visit our website at www.utcaerospacesystems.com or follow us on Twitter: @utcaerosystems

About United Technologies Corporation

United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information about the company, visit our website at www.utc.com or follow us on Twitter: @UTC

About Orbis

Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of blindness for over 30 years. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care. Working in collaboration with local partners including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world’s only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft. To learn more about Orbis and to get involved, please visit Orbis.org and follow the organization’s work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For further information: Jessica Napoli, +1 704-998-6892, jessica.napoli@utas.utc.com