The Rotterdam Eye Hospital beyond borders

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital (REH) and the Eye Care Network (ECN, an initiative of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital) developed a mobile eye care concept: the EYEbus. It is a convenient tool to create access to a network of ophthalmic professionals around the client and has been successfully implemented in the Netherlands. The EYEbus is a scientifically proven concept, with more than 5 years of experience. 

The success of international knowledge exchange & cross-over innovation

In addition to the success in the Netherlands, the REH and ECN are exploring the possibilities to introduce the EYEbus network concept in other countries. The REH and ECN started a feasibility study in China from February 2014 up to May 2015 together with their Chinese partner Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital (TMUEH). The aim of the study is to determine whether it is feasible and valuable to implement the EYEbus network concept in China. Preliminary conclusions indicate that there is an urgent and increasing demand for innovative and professional eye care in this country.

Internationalisation of the EYEbus concept not only includes the export of the innovation. It is all about the willingness to learn from other countries and the exchange of information. A good example is the collaboration between the REH and Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) since 1997. 

They initiated the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH), which is the global association of eye centres of excellence. Recently, the REH and SNEC won the Winsemius Award, an award assigned to collaborative organisations that resulted in the creation and implementation of innovative concepts. ​​

Both examples show that the power of internationalisation lies within the exchange of information and the willingness to learn from each other. René Baljon, director of the ECN: 

“Our international work is a matter of give and take. Especially with a technologically high demanding discipline such as eye care, our main focus is knowledge sharing.”