Year/Course: 2021-2022
Project type: Medical

Inventors: Dr. Brandon Smith & Ms. Stasa Stumpa, Clinical Neuroscience and Surgeonomic
Mentor: TBC

Since the dawn of surgical practice as we know it today, innovations to improve patient outcomes have been rife – from new instruments and robotics, to intra operative visualisation, to sterility and patient-support equipment to ensure comfort and wellbeing during and after procedures. Despite this, if we compare a surgeon in 2021 vs 1821, little has changed bar disposable PPE. Recent studies are bringing to light the physical toll surgery has on the surgeon over the duration of their careers, with many becoming patients themselves as a result of unaddressed poor ergonomics and lack of postural awareness and correction, the effects of which build up as time goes on.

Akin to the monitoring function of a radiologists dosimeter badge, the inventors are developing a novel, ‘pocket’ electromyography (EMG) device to measure the stresses and strains of the operating surgeon. The function of this is twofold; firstly, to provide minimally invasive cues for postural correction, and secondly to garner procedural data that may be useful in optimising surgical techniques and practises. The goal is to improve the ergonomics and long-term physical wellbeing of operating surgeons and other healthcare professionals.

The challenge for the i-Team is to investigate the route to getting such a device adopted and used by surgeons and other healthcare workers. By talking to surgeons as well as experts in the impact of poor posture, they will identify the key stakeholders and decision-makers and recommend appropriate next steps for the inventors to take.