UBC Graduate Research

Thermal Cautery for Low Resource Settings Adibi, Mohammad Amin; Esfandiari, Hooman; Dowling-Medley, Jennifer; Satti, Sampath; Sterling, Samantha


International Heat, a team of five graduate students, spent the past four months designing a thermal cautery system capable of being used for open abdominal surgery in low-resource settings. Throughout those four months, the team followed the design process outlined in Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies. Potential project ideas were presented to the entire Engineers-in-Scrubs class. International Heat formed from a desire to create a device with the potential to significantly impact the quality of medical care in third world countries. This report details the team’s progression starting with defining the team’s mission statement and strategic focus, to the needs finding process, to needs screening and creation of preliminary needs specifications, to concept generation and screening, to interviewing clinicians who provided feedback leading to the update of the needs statement and needs specifications, and then final concept selection. We describe the prototyping of and evaluation of two separate concepts in order to ultimately choose thermal cautery as well as extensive feasibility testing we performed to see if thermal cautery had the potential to be a viable alternative to an electrosurgical unit. Finally, we provide a potential development strategy which could be implemented to bring the thermal cautery unit to market.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International