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The British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy was founded in 1989 to improve standards, promote training and encourage the exchange of information in minimal access techniques.
Keyhole surgery requires that surgeons show extremely high levels of dexterity. In order to become competent in laparoscopic surgery, even with good manual dexterity, much practice is required to develop the appropriate hand/eye coordination for operating using a video monitor in a two dimensional environment with limited tactile feedback. These skills can be learned from repetitive practice and graded exercises. Like developing piloting skills, at least 30 hours practice is required to acquire competence and the skill levels need to be graded.
The facilities to acquire this training are expensive, requiring the appropriate laparoscopes, monitors and lighting and are often not available outside specialist training centers or normal working hours. Most general hospitals do not have the facilities to allow training and there may be concerns about damaging expensive equipment.
In order to overcome this, BSGE Training and MotionTouch have formed a unique partnership to develop a training box for laparoscopic surgeons and gynaecologists.
The project has set out to create a state of the art practice environment for laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is done with the aid of a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube). The stated aim for the project is to provide surgeons with the practice equipment to come first in the world rankings.
There are similar products available in the marketplace, but they are expensive and because of the way they are created using vacuum forming, they crack easily and the neoprene skin that covers the opening is not fastely secured, which means it sags during training. MotionTouch needed to overcome these problems and supply the BSGE with design solutions.
In order to find the solutions needed for this project, MotionTouch carried out a series of research exercises, which included watching videos of surgeries taking place and visiting training facilities in Guildford.
Once the specification had been agreed the project was passed to the design department. They were then able to create 3D CAD videos of the product.
MotionTouch have introduced new technological methods to the design of the product which will bring down the cost of the final version and ensure that it is robust. Unlike other products in the market, this version has been specifically designed so that it can be used from any angle, so you don't have to buy different shaped versions for different operations.
It has also been designed to be made of a light weight material. The shape and the carry handle mean that it is also very portable and can be used either in the hospital or at home, so there is no need for hospitals / surgeons to buy two different versions.
The unit allows surgeons to develop the appropriate manual dexterity to become skilled laparoscopists. The skills are easily transferred to theatre and will improve patient care.
MotionTouch have also designed a 'wet' and 'dry' version of the training aid. The wet version is designed for more complex procedures using animal or vegetable tissue and has a plastic cover on the inside for hygienic and easy disposal of any contents placed inside the aid, which avoids the need to clean the container each time it is used.
The dry version is designed for use in the training facility or at home using simulated organs, it also has 9 hoops on the inside which are arranged in different directions to make practice that bit more challenging, in other similar products there were only 3 before.
MotionTouch were also able to develop a low cost endoscope using a simple, low-cost camera which can be attached using a USB plug in to a laptop, to be used in the hospital or at home.
The BSGE has presented the concept at key conferences to obtain the thought and feedbacks of surgeons across the country. Once this activity has been finalized, the product then goes to manufacture.
Henry Powell, Sales Director of MotionTouch, said "We are delighted to have been chosen to work on this project. This is a project which aims to improve surgeon skills and in turn help the general public. The project team is extremely excited at the opportunity to make this type of difference. MotionTouch is committed to helping encourage excellence in surgery and will continue to work with the BGSE to create further solutions".
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