Co-MeDDI – Collaborative Medical Device Design Initiative

PDR Research

Facial deformities caused by disease, trauma and burns are common in India and disproportionately affect those close to or below the poverty line. Studies have shown that they have a significant impact on quality of life and also carry a significant cost burden.

The advent of 3D design and engineering technologies such as 3D scanning, computer-aided planning of surgical procedures, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and 3D printing have many reported benefits, including improved clinical outcomes and reduced procedure duration.

However, several practical, technical, economic, institutional and regulatory barriers to the implementation of such methods in different regions have been reported.

OBJECTIVES

Building on existing relationships, Co-MeDDI identified the unique challenges to implementing in-hospital 3D design engineering services, prioritised new collaborative research projects to overcome them whilst developing community, training and industry partnerships that will help to implement them long-term.

The objectives were to:

  • Collaboratively-develop regionally-appropriate methods that will enable the provision of custom made devices used to correct facial deformity to a greater number of people in India, and to test the feasibility of the new approach.
  • Identify and prioritise new collaborative research projects to overcome the challenges identified.
  • Develop community, training and industry partnerships that will help to implement the research.

These objectives were achieved through a series of exchange visits, outreach programmes and project challenges from 2018 to 2020.

IMPACT

  • King George’s Medical University have created an in-hospital 3D design engineering facility to support research, training and clinical implementation of the latest methods. This is believed to the first such facility based within a public hospital in India and met the project objective to create regionally-appropriate methods to provide services to a greater number of people.
  • A series of training programmes have been developed by both King George’s Medical University and UK partners, PDR and Swansea Bay University Health Board. Starting with CPD accredited courses, the teams intend to collaborate to create post-graduate level courses that address the need to transfer techniques into routine practice.
  • Two further research projects have resulted directly from the final Co-MeDDI workshop, which brought together experts from multiple fields together.
  • One academic publication has been accepted and others are under review. In the paper, identifying research and development priorities for an in-hospital 3D design engineering facility in India', the team identify key factors that influence the adoption of such services in India. The research will be published in the forthcoming special medical issue 6.2 of the Journal of Design, Business & Society. Furthermore, the project findings were presented at 6 international conferences in India, the UK, Tokyo and the Maldives.

The project addressed the need for better community resilience, and local supply chains in healthcare, and illustrated this by collaboratively developing new design methods for devices used to correct facial deformity.

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