Innovative project from Clinical Simulation Center is Global Surgical Training Challenge finalist

March 17, 2022  //  FOUND IN: News

When Grace Kim, M.D. — from the U-M Department of Surgery — and her international research partners needed a low-cost laparoscopic simulator that could be built with readily available materials for their ALL-SAFE project, she called on the Clinical Simulation Center’s (CSC) Deborah Rooney, Ph.D. for help.

As director of the CSC 3D & Innovations Lab, Rooney guides a team of biomedical engineering students who work to develop and produce novel teaching tools, skills trainers and simulators using a variety of methods from high tech 3D printing to everyday construction methods. For ALL-SAFE, she engaged the lab’s team to create a box trainer, including detailed instructions, out of items like carboard and plastic wrap that could be assembled by local medical staff in under-resourced areas to use with laparoscopic instruments, cell phones and tablets.  

The ALL-SAFE (African Laparoscopic Learners – Surgical Advancement For Ectopic pregnancy) project recently reached the finalist phase of the Global Surgical Training Challenge (GSTC) and as one of four final projects, the ALL-SAFE team has been awarded up to $500,000.

You can see the projects on this video, with ALL-SAFE beginning at time stamp 3:57.

The GSTC is a collaboration among six organizations to support development of open-source surgical training models. GSTC seeks to fund “international teams composed of surgical educators, engineers and global surgery experts gathered virtually to collaborate in solving critical surgical needs in low and middle income countries” and will ultimately award one of the four final teams $1,000,000 in funding.

Rooney and the ALL-SAFE team believe if these methods applied to laparoscopic training for ectopic pregnancy are successful, they could expand to address other kinds of surgical training thus increasing patient access to quality care around the world.