CAMTech Uganda Global Surgery Hack-a-thon

August 26-28, 2016 | Mbarara, Uganda

During the weekend-long CAMTech UGANDA Global Surgery Hack-a-thon (August 26-28, 2016), clinicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, students and designers spent 48 hours developing innovative medical technologies to improve surgical care in resource-limited settings.

More than 250 participants from over 30 universities and organizations from across Africa, North America and Asia convened at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) to collaborate with experts and create innovations with the potential to shift the global surgical paradigm for patients around the world. A total of 36 teams presented novel solutions to address critical challenges, including minimally-invasive locators to facilitate IUD removal, locally-produced stabilizing splints for fractures, mobile online safe surgery checklists, and single-use protective wraps to encourage use of helmets on motorbike taxis.

Click here to read the full event report!

During the weekend-long CAMTech UGANDA Global Surgery Hack-a-thon (August 26-28, 2016), clinicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, students and designers spent 48 hours developing innovative medical technologies to improve surgical care in resource-limited settings.

More than 250 participants from over 30 universities and organizations from across Africa, North America and Asia convened at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) to collaborate with experts and create innovations with the potential to shift the global surgical paradigm for patients around the world. A total of 36 teams presented novel solutions to address critical challenges, including minimally-invasive locators to facilitate IUD removal, locally-produced stabilizing splints for fractures, mobile online safe surgery checklists, and single-use protective wraps to encourage use of helmets on motorbike taxis.

Check out the winners!

The 2016 hack-a-thon awarded over $2,500 (approximately 8.8 million UGX) in prize money to the following teams:

$1,000 Prize (offered by the Babson Schlesinger Fund for Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship): TraumaCall – a mobile application to quickly connect trauma patients to local healthcare providers

$850 Prize (offered by Safe Surgery 2020/GE Foundation): Mediclave – a low-cost, solar autoclave for resource-limited settings

$750 Prize (offered by the United Nations Population Fund): FIST App – a predictive algorithm and mobile application for community health workers to identify high-risk pregnancies

CAMTech 1st Prize ($782 USD, UGX 2,500,000):
Contraceptive Implant Finder (CIF)- a device to simplify hormonal implant retrieval

CAMTech 2nd Prize ($625 USD, UGX 2,000,000):
iDrain- a simple machine that can be used to remove fluids from the pleural space

CAMTech 3rd Prize ($469 USD, UGX 1,500,000):
Amagara – a digitised checklist that is used before, during and after surgery

CAMTech 4th PrizeSimplest Innovation ($219 USD, UGX 700,000): Boda Boda Bonnet- a safe way to wear and share helmets amongst different boda boda users to reduce the risk of injury and death due to head trauma

Clinical Summit, Site Visits, Workshops & Evening Reception

Friday, August 26, 2016

TimeDescription
08:00Hrs – 09:00HrsRegistration / Tea
09:00Hrs – 09:15Hrs Opening Remarks
Dr. Data Santorino
09:15Hrs – 09:45Hrs Keynote Speech:
Prof Kyamanya
09:45Hrs – 10:15Hrs Panel 1:Surgical Care Pathway: Planned Surgery
Moderator: Dr. Situma Martin
10:45Hrs – 11:30HrsSurgical Care Pathway: Trauma
Moderator: Prof Kitya
11:45Hrs – 12:30HrsInteractive Workshop: Clinical Challenge Identification
12:45Hrs – 13:00HrsClosing remarks
Dr. Joseph Ngonzi - OB/GYN
13:00Hrs Lunch
14:00Hrs – 17:00Hrs
Clinical site visits to:
Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (Josephine)
Ishaka Adventist Hospital (Maurice)
Lyantonde Hospital (Nuriat)
Itojo Hospital (Patrick)
14:30Hrs –16:00Hrs

Clinician Networking & Open Challenge Discussion (Oxfo• md Inn)
Mentors/Experts only
14:30Hrs –16:00HrsBabson Entrepreneurship in Action Workshop (Oxford Inn)
18.00HrsPre-Hack-a-thon Reception (Location: MGH Guest House, Plot 2, Muti Drive Boma, Mbarara, Uganda, opposite Little Woods Inn)
Cocktail Reception MC:: Mr. Denis Lukaaya, MUST PRO
18:00Hrs – 20:00HrsTechnology Showcase

Bubble Project (Dr. Ryan Carroll)
3D reconstruction of human Anatomy - from 2D x-ray images; towards patient specific low cost implant designs (Waiswa William)
WiCare Wound-Pump (Danielle Zurovcik)
19:00Hrs – 19: 30HrsIntroduction and Welcome
Opening Remarks – Dr. Data Santorino, Uganda Country Manager, CAMTech
and Professor Celestino Obua
Welcoming Remarks – Dr. Kristian Olson, Medical Director, CAMTech
Technology Showcase + Dysfunctional Equipment Presentations
19:00Hrs – 19: 30Hrs

Barbeque, refreshments and interaction
20:30Hrs – 21:30HrsCake-cutting ceremony, music and more interaction
21:30HrsCocktail reception ends

Hack-a-thon: Saturday, August 27, 2016

TimeDescription
08:00HrsRegistration opens
09:00Hrs – 09:20Hrs(MCs: Dr. Ryan Carroll and Mr. Denis Lukaaya)

Opening Remarks (10 minutes each)

Vice Chancellor, MUST
Dr. Kris Olson (Director, CAMTech)
09:30Hrs – 09:45HrsGroup photograph (Rhina)
09:45Hrs – 10:55HrsHack-a-thon Speakers
Representative of Dr. Julius Ecuru – Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (15 mins)
Topic: Promoting (medical) innovation in tertiary institutions in Uganda (focused on government plans)

Prof. Kitya (15 mins)
Topic: Challenges of surgery in East Africa

Wiljeana Glover – Babson (10 mins)
Topic: Welcoming Remarks

Rita Owino – Safe Surgery 2020 (10 mins)
Topic: Welcoming Remarks

Chief Guest: Hon. Frank Tumwebaze – Minister for Information and Communications Technology (20 mins)
Topic: National strategies to accelerate social economic growth thru technology
10.55Hrs – 11:05Hrs
Hack-a-thon 101 (Rules/Format/Judging Criteria)
Luis Ayllon, MIT H@cking Medicine
11:05Hrs – 11:30HrsClinical Summit Overview
Kris Olson, Medical Director, CAMTech
11.30Hrs – 11:40HrsIntroduction of mentors
Ms. Alexis Steel
Dr. Annabella Habinka
11:40Hrs – 12:30HrsPitching session (& registration of pitches via link on website)
12.30Hrs – 13:00HrsForm cross-disciplinary teams
Hacking Store opens
Mentor Briefing – Resource Center
13.00HrsLunch (Participants are welcome to hack through lunch)
13:30Hrs – 15:00HrsHacking (Mentors are encouraged to talk to teams)
15.00Hrs – 17:30HrsHacking* (Participants are welcome to continue hacking after 5.30 PM)
17:30Hrs – 8 :00 HrsRegistration of team open (link/paper)

Hack-a-thon: Sunday, August 28, 2016

TimeDescription
8.00Hrs-8:30Hrs(MC: Dr. Ryan and Mr. Denis Lukaaya)

Deadline for Final Team Registration
8:30Hrs – 9:00HrsIssuing of order/time slots and stations for teams’ practice presentations to mentors
09.00Hrs – 12:00Hrs Teams practice presentations (2 stations)
11:30Hrs – 12:00HrsPress de-brief
12.00Hrs – 13:30HrsLunch (Participants are welcome to hack through lunch)

Issuing of order/time slots and stations for first round of judging, to a panel of judges organized around innovation themes.
13:00Hrs – 13:30HrsJudging Briefing
13:30Hrs – 14:30HrsSelection of top 6 teams for final judging

Preparations for final judging
15:30Hrs – 16:00HrsTop teams’ final presentation to Judges
16:00Hrs – 16:30HrsTop teams’ final Judges deliberate

Hack-a-thon Feedback Session

Participants complete post hack-a-thon evaluation form (via link on website)
16:30Hrs – 17:00HrsAwards ceremony
17:00Hrs – 17:15HrsClosing Remarks
Dr. Data Santorino
Ms. Alexis Steel
Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye (Minister for Science Technology and Innovation)
17:15Hrs – 17:30HrsPress release

Click here for the full event program!

These clinical challenges were sourced from our network of healthcare experts specializing in surgical care around the world. Participants are welcome to work beyond what is listed below!

ChallengeDescription
Reduce the Delays: Innovate the System - submitted by Babson CollegeAdapted from he Lancet Commissions Global Surgery 2030 Report, experts have observed three delays that significantly impact accessibility and availability of surgical care:

• The First Delay — the delay in seeking care—occurs when patients often wait to seek health care because of financial and geographic restrictions, cultural beliefs, poor education, a history of being disconnected from formal health systems, and low awareness of available services or lack of awareness of available services or low confidence in those services.

• The Second Delay — the delay in reaching care—occurs when hospitals with surgical capacity are scarce, meaning the nearest facility can be hours to days away, and depend on varying modes of transportation.

• The Third Delay — the delay in receiving care—occurs when attendance at a hospital does not guarantee treatment, since few first-level hospitals can provide comprehensive emergent operative care. In addition, resources that do exist may not be mobilized in a timely manner.

How will the innovative product and/or service that your team creates address one or more of these three delays? How does addressing this delay improve the overall service and business of the healthcare organization that may employ your innovation?
Improving Medical Equipment in LMICs submitted by Safe Surgery 2020How might we increase surgical volume at district-level hospitals by reducing the number of cases that must be referred or cancelled due to out-of-service medical equipment?

At any given time, an estimated 40% of medical equipment in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries is out of service – compared to less than 1% in high-income countries. When a critical piece of equipment, like an X-ray or ultrasound machine, is down, surgical teams are often forced to refer emergency and essential surgical procedures until the equipment is back up and running – sometimes weeks, or even months. Teams tackling this challenge at the Global Surgery Hack can design their solutions around a number of root causes including accessibility of appropriate spare parts and accessories, availability of context-appropriate medical equipment on the market, access to training resources including appropriate manuals, lack of test equipment, and supply chain management, with an emphasis on creating sustainable models. We prefer teams not design their solutions around Bio-Medical Equipment Technician training.
Innovations in the surgical field that best enable better care for women’s reproductive health submitted by The United Nations Population FundInnovations that address capacity building, technical assistance or processes in the surgical field that best enables better care for women’s reproductive health.

An example would be the following:

It’s estimated that 225 million women and girls have unmet contraceptive needs globally. Meeting this needs could prevent 36 million abortions, 70,000 maternal deaths and 52 million unintended pregnancies. Increase in demand for long acting reversible contraceptives (Uterine and Contraceptive implants) among younger women is growing. However the process of hormonal implant administration involves a minor surgical procedure. This skill required is not common among health workers in the developing world.

How can administration of hormonal implants be improved to enable more health providers to effectively train and or safely administer them?

Note: The above is just an example but other surgical challenges that affect women's reproductive health are welcome
Assessing Intra-abdominal PressureWe need an objective way to assess intra-abdominal pressure. For example, this can help decide whether the abdomen can be closed or not, such as when deciding on primary closure versus silo for gastroschisis.
Cost-of-Service CalculatorHow can we help patients and their providers compare costs of alternative treatments? Is there a workable way to develop an algorithm which would enable patients in poor-resource settings to receive reasonable and affordable treatment? We need some type of “Cost-of-Service-Calculator”, which would include a choice of technology, capacity to pay, effectiveness of treatment regimes, and relative convenience for the users.
Accessing Test ResultsIt is difficult to access to diagnostic test results in remote surgical centers. Can we develop a way to reliably obtain these?
Laparoscopic Surgery TrainingTraining new surgeons in laparoscopic surgery techniques is often difficult. We need an affordable, high quality simulator that would give young surgeons experience and confidence and enable experienced surgeons to train with new techniques without exposing patients to risks.
Auto-Transfusions in Organ Abdominal Traumas There is a need for a better alternative to straining blood through gauze, for patients experiencing abdominal traumas, such as splenic/liver injuries and ruptured ectopic pregnancies.

The usual method adopted in low-resource settings involves using a few layers of autoclaved gauze to filter blood and clots from the peritoneal cavity into sterile containers, and then inject these into blood bags for transfusion in patients with ruptured ectopics or other conditions where there is 'clean' blood inside the body.

While this method is inexpensive and effective, it can be cumbersome, as the blood has to be scooped out of the peritoneal cavity, handed over to another person to filter and then filled into a blood bag before it can be transfused. All of this has to be done quickly to avoid further bleeding. It is also possible for loose strands of gauze material to pass into the filtered blood container.

An ideal alternative would be a sterile device that combined a funnel with a filtering layer and a detachable collection container that had an anti-coagulant that could be removed and connected to a blood-transfusion device.

The team innovating this type of instrument will need to figure out how to fit the parts together, get the right mix of components, make it leak-proof, sterile and cost-effective.

Safe, Effective Instrument RemovalMops and instruments that are left behind in body cavities before closure cause serious complications and often require multiple surgeries. We need to develop a warning system to alert surgeons of equipment left behind.
Alternatives for Blood-Oxygen TransportThere is a need for providing tactile sensation to a consultant who is giving tele-consultations.
Alternative Power Sources in Operating RoomsOperating rooms need reliable power to function properly. We need to develop a mechanism to employ solar and alternative power sources to ensure safe and effective nighttime operations, instrument sterilization, lighting, suction, and anesthesia.
Vertebral Level IdentificationIt's often difficult to identify inter vertebral space l3-l4 or l4-l5 especially in fat people and non-cooperative patients leading to frequent piercing.
ERM System for surgical patientsThere is a lack of computerized tools in Ugandan Hospitals to electronically manage patients surgical information, as well as locating the nearest health institutions that carry out surgical practices. This has led to many deaths mostly for the cases where we have had accidents that need surgery.
Locally Developed Underwater Seal Chest DrainageUnderwater seal chest drains are a system that allows drainage of the pleural space using an airtight system to maintain subatmospheric intrapleural pressure in which the underwater seal acts a one-way valve. Unfortunately, this improved system is not readily available, can we develop an alternative solutions?
Efficient Suction MechanismSurgeons in low-resource settings need an efficient suction mechanism for use on surgery wards.
Sterile Blood/Fluid WarmingThere is a need for an efficient system for warming fluid or blood, without contamination, during surgical resuscitation.
Lighting in Surgical OperationsSurgery wards in LMICs need portable and affordable lighting systems for use during surgical operations.
Improving Microscopic Ear Examinations, Evaluations, and hearing aidsMicroscopic examination of the ears in clinics is cumbersome, due to the need to reset equipment for each ear. The process takes too much time and effort, so there is a need for more efficient tools for surgeons.

In addition, hearing tests are not readily available in clinic and machines are not robust. Hearing aids are very expensive and difficult to obtain and fit.
Airway Forceps for Improving Foreign Body RemovalMany surgical wards lack adequate forceps for easy and safe removal of oddly shaped and smooth foreign bodies from the airway.
Pressure Sore Management When a very ill patient is admitted or operated upon, they are prone to developing pressure sores. The sores are a nightmare given the high caloric demand they pose on the already stretched resources. Finding a dressing, bedding or other approaches that can reduce the risk of developing pressure sores or enhance the management when the sores develop is still a challenge.
Antibiotics for WoundsWound infections have a serious impact on the morbidity and mortality of surgical patients. A number of factors contribute to wound infections, however, microorganisms and bacteria are two major causes. Wound infections can lead to wound sepsis, systemic sepsis and delayed healing, prologing a patient's stay in the hospital, which is associated with higher expenses and a higher risk of hospital-acquired infections.

Doctors and surgeons could benefit from a solution that could help doctors and surgeons determine the appropriate antibiotics for patients with wounds, including being able to test their sensitivity to these treatments.
Potassium Blood-Level ManagementPatients who have elevated levels of potassium before, during or after and surgery face an increased risk of cardiac arrest. There is a need for an innovation or device that can monitor potassium blood levels.
Bandage/Gauze Care for Wound PatientsBurns patients are subjected to numerous wound-dressing changes, which are often uncomfortable for the patient, and require significant time/staff for the hospital. Since the bandages must be replaced and changed multiple times a day, it is also an expense to keep buying the gauzes. It would be very helpful to have create a new type of bandage or gauze that could be easily wrapped and unwrapped around the affected area, and that could be sterilized and re-used.
Surgical Chest TubesMany hospitals lack chest tubes for surgeries. If excess chest fluids are not drained from the patient, the patient will develop breathing problems, which can lead to death. There is a need for reusable tubes and/or multipurpose tubes to help alleviate this issue.
Follow-up Communication and CareProviders need a better way to stay in touch and communicated with patients after surgery. Often, it becomes very difficult for doctors to monitor patients who live in poor, remote areas, especially if they do not have access to proper nutrition and healing treatments.

CAMTech Global Surgery Hack-a-thon Prizes

$1,000 Prize from the Babson Schlesinger Fund for Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship*

Innovations focused on addressing delays in seeking care, reaching care, and receiving care.

$850 Prize from Safe Surgery 2020/GE Foundation* 

Innovations that focus on solving the problem of out-of-service medical equipment that causes delays in surgery.

$750 Prize from the United Nations Population Fund  (UNFPA)*

Innovations that address capacity building, technical assistance or processes in the surgical field that best enables better care for women’s reproductive health

*Babson, Safe Surgery 2020, and UNFPA will also be offering post-hack-a-thon awards for innovations. Details will be announced at the end of the event.

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