Minimally Invasive Surgery and Interventional Techniques
Department of Biomechanical Engineering - Delft University of Technology
Prof.dr. Jenny Dankelman
ZonMw (NWO) / DBT India
SMART Surgical System
23 March 2021

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.


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