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Low-Cost Laparoscope to Help Patients in Third World

September 27, 2016


Two-thirds of the world’s population—some five billion people—lack access to safe, affordable surgical care.

An $85 device conceived in a sock drawer could help change that.

Low-Cost LaparoscopeJohn Langell, a surgeon who runs the University of Utah’s Center for Medical Innovation, had the idea when he was called in for an emergency late one night and used his iPhone flashlight to look for clothes without waking his wife. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is as bright as a laparoscope,’ ” he recalls.

Dr. Langell passed the thought on to students in his bio-innovation class who were looking for a project: Why not build a low-cost laparoscope using cell phone parts and bring minimally invasive surgery to regions of the world that can’t afford it?
A laparoscope is a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end that allows doctors to perform surgery inside a patient’s belly by means of a few small holes rather than a large incision. Surgeons can see a magnified image of the abdominal cavity and watch what they are doing on an external video screen.

Such tools typically cost more than $20,000. And additional equipment —including an image-processing tower and a high-definition video screen—requires a capital investment of as much as $700,000. Most systems are sold with an annual service contract that adds thousands of dollars more.

Read More – Source: New Low-Cost Surgical Tool Could Help Patients in Third World – WSJ



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