The Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies aspires to make cancer diagnosis, prevention, and treatment more accessible and more effective for women worldwide. We believe that healthy bodies spur healthy minds, and only through empowered women do communities thrive. By placing women at the center, GWHT leverages technology to create sustainable ecosystems of change.
GWHT SPOTLIGHT: September 2019
Low-Cost Laparoscopy for Global Surgery
Dr. Jenna Mueller is a Postdoctoral Associate in Biomedical Engineering working with the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies. She co-leads the Laparoscopy project with pediatric surgeon, Dr. Tamara Fitzgerald, to develop a low-cost, durable, and reusable laparoscope for intra-abdominal surgeries in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Laparoscopic surgery is the standard-of-care in high-income countries for many cancer excisions in the chest and abdomen. It avoids large incisions by using a tiny camera and fine instruments manipulated through keyhole incisions but is generally unavailable in LMICs due to expensive laparoscopic equipment (~$215,000 for initial purchase) and service contracts. Patients in LMICs would benefit from laparoscopic surgery, as advantages include decreased pain, improved recovery time, fewer post-surgical infections, and shorter hospital stays. Jenna and Tamara received intramural grants through a program called Bass Connections at Duke University to develop a course sequence for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years. Through this mechanism, they assembled a multidisciplinary team of students at different points in their training to develop a low-cost, durable laparoscope, called the ReadyView laparoscope. Rather than having an expensive light source and camera coupled to a fragile fiber optics, the ReadyView laparoscope contains a CMOS camera surrounded by a ring of LEDs that has been moved to the front of the device. This enables a significant decrease in cost and complexity (cost of goods = $120) while also maintaining the resolution and light intensity of a standard-of-care laparoscope. Previously, Jenna made significant contributions to the development of the Pocket Colposcope. She is leveraging her experience from the Pocket Colposcope to guide the development of the laparoscope using a human-centered design framework. This year’s course will culminate with a team trip to Kampala, Uganda in May 2020 to collect feedback from local stakeholders about the latest prototypes.
GWHT wins The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) Grant - $78,385
GWHT wins The Burroughs Welcome Fund Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) Grant - $78,385. The Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in Burroughs Wellcome Fund's home state of North Carolina. GWHT has been awarded funding to implement and scale the Ignite model across the Durham Public School system. Based on Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Ignite is a novel model of education.
Grace Hopper Celebration, 10/3/19
World View, a small public service program at UNC-Chapel Hill, helps K-12 and community college educators develop global perspectives in their teaching so that all North Carolina students are better equipped to engage in our global world. This year's symposium focuses on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Ramanujam's presentation, Ignite: Teaching Design Thinking and Global Citizenship in a Horizontally and Vertically Integrated Classroom, will take place Wednesday, October 16, at 11 a.m.
Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news, updates, and events on all our center activities!