Approximately 2 billion people around the world still have no access to basic surgical care. A large part of this population lives in India. The Lancet, WHO, and the World Bank recently showed that many essential surgical interventions are not only very cost-effective in resource-poor countries, but will bring economic growth. However, due to lack of equipment, instruments and infrastructure, low-recourse settings face many challenges that require innovation.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques bring many advantages for patients, especially in low-resource settings,because of e.g. a reduced risk of infection and shorter hospital stays. Unfortunately, the currently used devices are expensive and difficult to clean, and require a sterile operating-room environment.
We propose to develop an innovative SMART surgical equipment system, where SMART stands for Safe, Minimal dimensions, Affordable, Reliable and Transparent (=easy to use). The system will allow minimally invasive surgery without the need for a sterile operating room, even in low-resource settings. Prototype testing will be done together with clinical groups in India, (new) spin-off companies and surgical device certification experts. After testing, the developed instruments will be ready for full-scale clinical testing.