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TECH: Charity's 3D surgery simulator

28/07/2014 by Alan Cole in the UK

Charity's virtual surgery simulator provides opportunities for greater health progress in developing world

International charity selected to showcase its Virtual Surgery Simulator at health innovation summit...

Smile-Train-NYSE
Smile Train celebrates one million cleft surgeries during an event at the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Smile Train.

A virtual surgery simulator, that supports training in the developing world, is amongst the innovations to be showcased at a global health gathering exploring the power of technology. The atlas of 3D interactive cleft surgeries, offers doctors in developing countries state-of-the art training via the web. The simulator, developed with partner BioDigital, is already online and free of charge. It allows surgeons to interact with and test out intricate cleft surgery procedures from beginning to finish, from any angle.

Charity Smile Train will showcase the 3D virtual surgery simulator at tech health gathering The Hive, at TEDMED 2014.

The non-profit's CEO Susannah Schaefer says: "The importance of technological innovation in global surgical practice cannot be overstated, and Smile Train is committed to being at the forefront of these efforts."

"Since its launch in 2013, the simulator has been an essential training resource for performing safe, quality, and 100 per cent-free cleft repairs."

"The simulator has become a key to our sustainable training model, which empowers and trains local doctors in their own communities, anywhere in the world."

Smile Train, that provides free cleft surgery and health care to poor children in developing countries, has been at work for 15 years. Since then the charity has provided over a million cleft repairs to patients in the most disadvantaged areas of the globe.

BioDigital, a company that specialises in 3D health visualisation systems, began their collaboration with Smile Train a decade ago. Director of 3D technologies, Aaron Oliker, says the collaboration stemmed from a need for high-quality cleft repair training to support Smile Train's sustainable model.

"The Virtual Surgery simulator is paving the way in global surgical innovation and has since become a blueprint for other surgical specialties including breast reconstructive surgery, oncology and cardiothoracic surgery," he says.

The annual TEDMED this year will be held at Washington, DC at The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts but will involve up to 7 stages simultaneously via digital link-up. The Hive is a start-up and entrepreneurial forum exploring current technological innovations that can benefit public health, including innovations in health IT, biotech, and mobile health and web technologies.


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Written and edited in London and Geneva All Xperedon news articles are original and are written by the Xperedon news team. The team is headed in the UK by Alan Cole, an experienced award-winning journalist and copywriter. Alan has previously worked in-house for UK publishers, Pearson Media (Financial Times) and Northcliffe Newspapers, among others, and is an accredited member of the National Union of Journalists, UK.

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