SELF-Training

Designing a training module for general surgeons and trainees to learn to repair simple congenital heart defects, such as patent ductus arteriosus

Team Lead: Dr. Marisa Seepersaud

Lead Institution: Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana

Team Countries: Guyana, United Kingdom, Norway, United States

Team SELF-Training (Set Every Little-heart Free by Training) is designing a training module for general surgeons and trainees to learn to repair simple congenital heart defects, such as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). With the Discovery Award, the team will design a hyper realistic, tissue-like physical model with built-in sensors paired with augmented reality. A mobile app will complement the module with educational materials and virtual mentorship.

The platform can safely and reliably develop the necessary skills to provide care to thousands of children who would otherwise go without. 

“Congenital heart defects are among the most common birth defects,” according to Dr. Marisa Seepersaud. “Half of the children born with these defects will require surgical intervention before age five. Unfortunately, too many children in low and middle income countries lack access to a pediatric cardiac surgeon or specialized care.” This results in a significant disease burden and, often, mortality.