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Monday
Dec102018

Enabling equitable access to health – South Africa Workshop Report

A group of esteemed researchers, early career researchers and practitioners joined forces for a four day workshop, ENABLING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO HEALTH: EMBRACING NEW DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES, at the Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein. Focus was on patient specific devices such as surgical implants, assistive technology, prosthetics and orthotics.

The workshop provided cross-disciplinary networking and development opportunities for early career researchers in the rapidly evolving field of patient specific healthcare devices. Experts from South Africa were joined with peers from the UK, all of whom had an interest in using advanced design engineering methods to increase the number of people who can be treated efficiently.

Groups of specialist expertise were formed mixing the UK and South African participants. Structured sessions, assisted by South African and UK Mentors, helped the participants to identify the overarching challenges and sub-challenges that currently prevent technologies from being used more routinely and efficiently. These structured sessions were complemented with visits to local clinics and a tour of the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacture (CRPM), which is based on the Central University of Technology campus. The Mentors, Prof. Du Plessis (Stellenbosch University), Prof. Holt (Cardiff University in the UK) and Mr Booysen (CRPM) also inspired the participants, providing an insight into career development opportunities, their fields of work and how they collaborate widely to produce high impact work.

Later days of the workshop were used to develop research proposals, inspired by the previous work. Specific themes around teaching/education, the use of over-the-internet software to facilitate international best-practice collaborating, metallurgy/engineering, rehabilitation engineering, shape optimisation and more were formed. The bones of projects were developed by first thinking about how the they would address the need for improved access to healthcare. The groups identified that issues such as cost, access to technology, the need for high quality standards that meet local needs, and technical engineering limitations could all be addressed through expertise within the collaborators.

An elevator pitch aimed to grab the attention of potential funders provided the final wrap up for the workshop. These were recorded to act as a stimulus to maintain momentum and as a reference to improve upon as the projects are detailed. We look forwards to taking these projects on and identifying additional partners with a shared interest.

This work was supported by a Newton Fund Researcher Links grant, ID 2017-RLWK8-10536, under the UK-South Africa Newton Fund. The grant is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit www.newtonfund.ac.uk. The National Research Foundation in South Africa have also supported this workshop.

The workshop was developed between Dr Dominic Eggbeer, Head of Surgical & Prosthetic Design at PDR, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Dr JG van der Walt, Senior Researcher, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, CUT. The South African host researcher for the initiative was Prof Igor Yadroitsev, CUT.

Further details about the workshop and the funders can be found here https://www.pdr-crpm-workshop.com/

Monday
Nov262018

WORKSHOP: ENABLING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO HEALTH

In countries where people have to travel long distances to receive medical care, where resources are stretched and where the most efficient solutions are sought, advanced design and fabrication technologies have an important role to play. However, numerous barriers reduce wider uptake of the latest accuracy and efficiency improving methods. 

Dr Dominic Eggbeer has teamed up with Prof. Yadroitsau and colleagues from the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Free State, South Africa on a mission to develop research projects that provide equitable access to state-of-the-art healthcare.

Through a four-day workshop with around forty participants, we will explore how 3d design and digital technologies can be used to improve access to state-of-the-art healthcare services in South Africa. Focus is on patient specific devices such as surgical implants, assistive technology, prosthetics and orthotics. We will:​

  • Provide cross-disciplinary networking and development opportunities for early career researchers in the field of patient specific devices.
  • Define research questions that aim to improve outcomes for those requiring patient specific medical devices.
  • Stimulate the development of research projects between participants in the UK and SA.
  • Share best practice in the production of patient specific devices between researchers and clinicians in the UK and SA.

Dominic will be joined by thirteen early career researchers from the UK, a further sixteen from South Africa and industry representatives. This group will be complemented by four mentors, two from the UK and two from South Africa, who will provide career guidance and inspiration.

The workshop will be held from the 3rd-9th Dec. 2018. 

It is supported by the Newton Fund Researcher Links grant, ID 2017-RLWK8-10536, under the UK-South Africa Newton Fund.

The grant is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit www.newtonfund.ac.uk.

The National Research Foundation in S Africa have also supported this workshop.

Visit the project website here to keep up to date.

Friday
Nov162018

Dr Hanna Burton - CEng MIMechE

Dr Hanna Burton has been elected as a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. A chartered engineer develops answers to engineering problems using new or existing technologies in creative and innovative ways. Hanna is developing the next generation of implantable devices with CARTIS through advanced metal additive manufacturing. To improve patient safety and surgical accuracy it is essential to ensure that devices comply within a changing regulatroy field.
Thursday
Sep272018

UK India Education Research Initiative - Pt 2

PDR and Morriston Hospital welcomed Maxillofacial and Dental specialists from King George’s Medical University (KGMU) as part of the UK India Education Research Initiative project this week. This visit introduced tissue engineering and advanced metal additive manufacturing techniques. It was also used to develop a research programme that will complement KGMU’s move to create in-hospital 3d planning and 3d printing capability. With high patient numbers and limited budget, in-hospital 3d planning and printing methods must be developed as rigorously, and efficiently as possible. CARTIS will help to implement the essential design controls, technical parameters and programme of on-going research with KGMU.

Two further visits in 2019 will be used to implement the plan.

Wednesday
Sep192018

Morriston welcomes Dr Alba Gonzalez 

This week Dr Alba Gonzalez started in her role as 3D Biomedical Technician at Morriston Hospital. Alba, who has a wealth of design experience to bring to the role, is really excited to join the Maxillofacial Laboratory Team.

Her first day involved obervation of complex surgical procedures that made use of the in-hospital 3d planning and printing capability.