Hyperreal Organlike Models for Enhanced Surgical-Training during and post-COVID-19 (HOMES-Training)

Lead Participant: Organlike Limited

Abstract

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the provision of surgical training has been severely disrupted with most training activities (in hospitals, medical schools, training centres and medical device companies) either postponed or cancelled. This will have a profound effect on long term healthcare provision.

OrganLike is developing "hyper-realistic" synthetic models of human organs and blood vessels and working with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and NHS Highland to use this technology in routine surgical training. These models are an alternative to using human cadavers or animal tissues - which has been the normal means for training surgeons for centuries. Training has been invariably conducted in hospitals, medical schools, facilities of medical device companies - all of which have the necessary facilities and authorisation for the storage and use of human tissues and body parts.

The project will accelerate the development of remote training of surgeons using synthetic models which do not require any of the complex facilities needed to work with human tissue. The physical materials can be delivered by post to the trainee wherever they are in the world, while the teaching component of the training delivered on-line. As the physical materials are standardised, they can be readily integrated with existing Augmented Reality technologies to enhance the training experience.

In the project, materials will be evaluated by surgeons training with RCSEd in the UK and also evaluated by trainee surgeons in Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The project will demonstrate

* the central role for OrganLike's hyper-realistic synthetic models from surgical training.
* the "doability" of remote training for surgeons,
* the capacity to introduce enhanced training techniques previously developed for other training application, such as AR,
* the capacity to increase training internationally.

The project represents a very clear example of how the Covid-19 pandemic can lead to accelerated adoption of new techniques -- in this case for a teaching approach which has changed little since the development of modern surgery. The need for traditional training will remain, but this technology will reduce the need for travel to centralised facilities, make training more accessible in Low and Middle Income Countries and provide the platform for more advanced training in the future.

It will also enable the RCSEd to continue to be at the forefront of surgical development, which it has been doing since it was founded in 1505\.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Organlike Limited £109,145 £ 87,316
 

Participant

NHS Highland £28,269 £ 28,269
Vivolution Ltd £18,000 £ 14,400
University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom £24,006 £ 24,006

Publications

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